20 Ways To Treat PCOS-Related Skin & Hair Problems

By | September 17, 2021
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Ask a woman with PCOS what she’s most frustrated with and chances are she’ll spell out a skin or hair problem that makes everyday life difficult. Apart from the health issues, dealing with stubborn acne, hyperpigmentation, extreme hair loss, dry skin and more can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. PCOS is not a fair player, the weird ebb and flow of your hormones takes a toll on your skin and hair. 

PCOS In A Nutshell

5fbee680 pcos in a nutshell

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or Disease (PCOD) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Since this is a chronic condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels, it causes you to skip periods or not get any periods at all. This condition further makes it difficult for women to get pregnant.

Did You Know?

According to the PCOS Society of India, 1 in 10 Indian women suffer from the condition. What’s more shocking is that a large percentage of these females are teenagers. Poor lifestyle habits are to be blamed for this surge as 80% of PCOS patients are obese.

Wanna know more about PCOS and all the ways to deal with the symptoms? Here’s a 101 guide to managing the condition like the bawse you are!

TC46 connected with Gynaecologist & Obstetrician Dr Manjiri Mehta at Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai to know more about how PCOS affects skin and hair. Here, she talks about the various issues that come along with the condition and how to tackle them effectively.

PCOS: A Spectrum Of Symptoms

77657015 pcos a spectrum of symptoms

PCOS is a metabolic syndrome with high levels of Androgens, insulin resistance and Anovulation. This is a condition with a huge spectrum of symptoms, hence diagnosis and treatment are tailor made for each patient. 

The common skin and hair problems that accompany PCOS are: 

  • Pigmentation
  • Facial hair growth
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Dry, scaly patchy skin

Hirsutism: Excessive Hair Growth

02bc3d53 hirsutism excessive hair growth

The hair growth in PCOS is often seen on the lower part of the face and jawline. This growth is darker and thicker than normal. Birth control or contraceptive pills are the mainstays of treatment as they stop ovulation and reduce Androgen production by ovaries. This helps in regularizing menses and reducing excess hair growth.

Antiandrogenic Medicines 

Spironolactone, which is a diuretic, blocks the action of Androgens on hair follicles and helps in reducing hair growth. Other drugs with similar effects are Flutamide and Finasteride.

Temporary Hair Removal

Works well for mild Hirsutism. Waxing, plucking or repeated bleaching can cause temporary hair removal but they all cause irritation and damage to the hair follicles and skin. Shaving is a good option.

Permanent Hair Removal

Electrolysis and laser are two ways in which hair can be removed permanently. Electrolysis is time-consuming and is useful to treat small areas. Laser is useful in treating larger areas. Both treatments are moderately painful and may need repeated sessions.

TC46 Recommended DIY

ab99d811 shaving

Shaving

One of the easiest methods for facial hair removal at home is shaving. And no, it’s not those jumbo razors men use, but dainty ones that are made specifically for women. You can buy facial razors for women at various online sites and even your local beauty supply store.

You Will Need:

  • Face Razor/Trimmer
  • Cleansed dry skin

Method:

  1. Make sure your skin is clean and dry with no products.
  2. Hold the razor at a 45-degree angle and shave your face in short, downward strokes.
  3. You should apply little pressure and it should feel like a spatula on your face.
  4. Avoid areas with acne and bumps.

There are many more ways to get rid of unwanted facial and body hair. Here’s a guide to the best hair removal solution for you.

PCOS Acne

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High Androgen levels cause more oily secretions from skin glands in PCOS, this leads to a whole lot of skin problems like severe acne, skin tags in armpits, bra line and the neck.

Treatment Options

For PCOS, the dermatologist asks you for a few blood tests to check your hormonal levels. According to the reports of deranged hormones, hormonal treatment may be prescribed as per your doctor’s discretion.

  • If you only have early insulin resistance, diet and exercise with weight loss along with routine acne therapy usually suffices
  • If you have significant Insulin resistance, your doctor may prescribe you Metformin, the medicine usually given for diabetes to improve Insulin sensitivity
  • If your LH/FSH ratios are abnormal, your doctor may prescribe you with few months course of oral contraceptive pills to regularize your hormones
  • If your prolactin is in excess, your dermatologist in consultation with an Endocrinologist may prescribe you medicines to control that
  • Similarly, some females come up with excess Testosterone, or excess Androgens in blood tests and accordingly medicines are prescribed as per SOPs and guidelines created by Indian and International Associations of Dermatologists

Click here for 10 must-know facts and treatment options about the mystery that is PCOS acne.

TC46 Recommended DIY

ceffc7cd aloe vera tea tree oil mask

Aloe Vera & Tea Tree Oil Mask

Contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to reduce redness, swelling and inflammation. This mask is effective in fighting PCOS acne. Aloe vera is also a great ingredient for healthy glowing skin. 

You Will Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • 3-4 drops of tea tree oil

Method:

  1. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to aloe vera gel in a bowl.
  2. Mix it well.
  3. Smooth a small amount on your face.
  4. Leave it overnight.
  5. Rinse with lukewarm water in the morning for clear skin.

Read here a catalogue of DIY home remedies, spot treatments, product recommendations and skincare tips that create acne care 101!

Acanthosis Nigricans

42ec9715 acanthosis nigricans

Rough, dark and patchy skin among women with PCOS is known as Acanthosis Nigricans. It is distinguished by dark, dense, velvety skin in body folds and creases.

Treatment Options

Acanthodians Nigrican, if seen as a result of PCOS, can be managed with the following treatment options.

  • Weight loss
  • Stabilizing hormones with various hormonal treatments mentioned above, which regularize the menses as well
  • Managing sugar and diet control
  • Cosmetic treatments such as creams for moisturizing and softening the skin and local antibiotics and antibacterial soaps
  • Laser therapy for reversing skin thickening

TC46 Recommended DIY

523b4f66 orange eggs face pack

Orange & Eggs Face Pack

Perfect for those with open pores, this mask helps in tightening the skin and making the complexion even as well. Orange absorbs excess sebum and effectively works as an astringent. 

You Will Need:

Method:

  1. Take 6 pieces of orange and mash it.
  2. Add to 1 spoon of egg white.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Apply for 15 minutes.
  5. Then wash it off with lukewarm water. 

Click here for effective desi nuskhe for treating pigmentation and discolouration.

Male-Pattern Hair Loss

063a8129 male pattern hair loss

Male-pattern hair loss is often seen in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS hair loss occurs due to an increase in the male hormone (known as androgen) in the body. These excess androgens trigger hair thinning on the scalp. However, there is not complete baldness as seen in men.

Treatment Options

This problem can be difficult to treat. However, there are a few limited treatment options available that are to be used with caution.

  • Local use of Minoxidil on the scalp
  • Medicines such as Spironolactone, Flutamide, Finasteride
  • Local use of anti-fungal shampoo

TC46 Recommended DIY

aea2e183 onion juice scalp remedy

Onion Juice Scalp Remedy

Onion juice contains sulphur, which is believed to be useful in preventing hair thinning and breakage, thus promoting hair growth. It also helps reduce hair fall by increasing blood supply to the hair follicles. 

You Will Need:

  • Half onion 
  • A cotton swab

Method:

  1. Put the onion in a blender to extract its juice.
  2. Use the cotton swab to apply the onion juice to your scalp.
  3. Leave it on for 30 -50 minutes and then wash your hair with water.
  4. Use this remedy twice a week. 

Click here for more DIY hair strengthening remedies and hair thinning mistakes to avoid.

All these symptoms of PCOS, need a multi-specialist approach to the treatment, where a Gynecologist and Endocrinologist work along with a Dermatologist, optimizing the treatment for individual patients.

Do the hair fall, acne, weight fluctuations ring a bell? Not sure if you have PCOS? Take this quiz here and find out!

Srushti Pathak

Srushti Pathak

A blogger, aspiring author and old soul at heart, Srushti Pathak believes in writing stories that touch the heart. She maintains that curiosity defines her zeal for writing and creativity in all spheres of life motivates her.

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