There are so many things I can share about PCOS but the first thing I want to write about is PCOS and its connection with acne. Why? For me, of all the effects of PCOS, acne is the toughest one to deal with and it affects not only my physical features but as well as emotional and social aspects of my life.
On my earlier post, I have briefly explained what PCOS is about and what are the effects of it into a woman’s body.
Having PCOS means having a high level of testosterone which is a male hormone. High level of testosterone causes so many undesirable effects in our body such as weight gain, acne, excessive hair and a lot more.
On this blog post, I will focus on the worst physical effect PCOS gave me…acne.
What is the connection between PCOS and Acne? As mentioned, PCOS causes us to have extra male hormones a.k.a testosterone. This then causes our sebaceous glands to produce way too much oil that then causes our face oiliness, dead skin cells, and dirt that plug hair follicles. These are the reasons why our skin pores especially on the jawline, chin, and upper neck areas to become irritated, inflamed and infected which what see as cystic acne. Sounds tiring and gross right? That’s how it is different from normal acne. Do you know that 27% of people seeking acne treatment are diagnosed with PCOS? Yes, if you are reading this article and are in dire need help of acne treatment, maybe you can consider checking if you have PCOS. It is better to identify if you are having normal acne vs PCOS acne, I call it extreme acne.
What is the difference between a normal acne and PCOS Acne?
Apart from too much oil that our sebaceous glands produce, PCOS acne is different from normal acne in terms of targeted areas in which acne is most likely to pester us. PCOS acne normally attacks us on our jawline, chin and upper part of the neck as these are the hormonally sensitive area of our skin. Another important thing to note is that PCOS acne is more of a cystic type of acne. I have experienced having huge cystic acne on each side of my ears and I was convinced that these are not just acne but actually boils because of the appearance and size, however; these are confirmed to be just acne. I know it’s gross but it’s actually true and it’s the reality of it.
How to treat PCOS acne?
In order to treat your PCOS acne, first thing first, consult your OB Gynaecologist to have it confirmed because treating PCOS acne is way more complex than treating normal acne.
The most important thing I learned in years of treating my acne and trying to find what works best for me is it has to be treated both on the inside and outside. Below are the ways how I manage my acne.
1. Drink a lot of water.
Everyone knows how important water is to us humans so I don’t want to dive into explaining it. However, let me reiterate how important it is to our skin. Several glasses of water a day keeps the wrinkles away. Drinking water keeps our skin hydrated and maintains our skin’s moisture thus making our skin soft and supple. It replenishes our skin tissues and increases our skin’s elasticity. Most importantly it washes away toxins and impurities from inside our body and that includes those nasty bacteria caused by excess oil produced by our super-active sebaceous glands and that is of course because of PCOS. So ladies, drink up!
2. Internal Acne Treatment
If there is one lesson I wish I have learned from the start is that treating acne will not work if we only focus on the outside. I learned it the hard way. When I was diagnosed with PCOS and acne started pestering me, I only focus on skin. It’s been more than a decade since I was diagnosed with PCOS and only a couple of years ago that I decided to approach curing my acne from the inside out and it worked. I have supplements that I take regularly that are essential for me to keep my acne away. I will share the details of it in my next post.
3. Finding the right skin care products.
It took me ages to find the skin products that are the best for me. My skin has been a guinea pig for the longest time until I found the right products that work for me. Since our skin condition is different from women without PCOS, not all products out in the market will work for us, finding the right skin product has been always a trial-and-error kind of thing for me, not to mention that it is expensive too. I have tried tons of products just to cure my acne, from the expensive stuff to the cheap ones and those that have been prescribed by the dermatologists I have consulted but none worked for me until recently. I will share these products on my next posts. The bottom-line here is to keep on trying and never ever give-up finding that skin care product that will work for you. The cure is out there just waiting for you to find it. What works for me are actually non-comedogenic skin care products. Details of these products will be shared later. Just in case you are wondering what does this coconut oil can do to our skin, well it’s one heck of a make-up remover. Best make up remover ever!
4. Hair and Hands-Off Face.
Our hands and hair can be so dirty in so many times and in so many ways so it is better to keep our hair and hands off our faces. We don’t want to make those inflamed zits worse. Sounds funny but if I let my hair down while sleeping I will surely have a zit or two the next morning, true story. Most of the time we are unconsciously touching our face with our hands which already held some random dirty stuff and it really has a bad effect on our skin thus make sure our hands are clean at all times.
5. Right Amount of Sleep.
Who doesn’t need sleep? I need my sleep every single night and everybody does. It is like our energy charger. If you think only black under eyes circles are the side-effect of lack of sleep that is visible to our skin, think again. Often times I notice that when I sleep so late my face becomes oily. Why? Lack of sleep promotes stress and it increases a substance called cortisol in the body. This then makes the skin secretes more sebum and that makes all these acne. Remember, us women with PCOS already have an active sebaceous gland that is secreting way too much sebum so not having enough sleep make things worse.
6. Eat Healthily.
What we put on our bodies have a great effect on us, even some more with what we put inside. Whether we eat good or bad food, it will surely manifest in our skin. For some nope, it won’t have any effects but for us with PCOS, it surely will have. When I eat oily food like banana fritters and deep-fried chicken, I will surely have a set of zits the next day. Avoid oily food if not, limit the amount of oily food we eat. We already have too much oil in our skin because of testosterone, we don’t need some more. Instead, eat healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, and fish. Limit the caffeine intake as it dehydrates our skin stripping off all the good and essential moisture. Healthy food, healthy skin…bad food…bad skin.
7. Sweat it girl.
Having a good amount of exercise not only promotes slim and tone body and high-energy but as well as skin nourishment as well. How? First, exercise reduces stress which we all know that stress contributes to acne as well. When we exercise our blood circulation increases which send more oxygen to our skin. However, take note that sweat can cause acne so ensure that you’ll have a nice bath after so that those sweat won’t clog your pores.
One thing to always remember is that being a woman with PCOS is basically having extra dose of bad things manifesting in and out of our bodies compare to other women. Normal women will have pimples but us, we are prone to acne. There are women that have the oily face but us, we tend to have the oilier face. With these being said, it means we have to take extra care and extra time to take care of our skin. We have to always work an extra mile.
Lots of love,