What's the Best Acne Cure for Me? I Have Pcos Symptoms, Hair Growth, Acne, Irregular Menstruation.

I have pcos symptoms, hair growth, acne, irregular menstruation. Im 27 year old female. In feb 2012, I stopped getting my period. Maybe due to weight loss however, my gyn prescribed me Diane-35 and after the first pack I got my period. Does this mean that I have pcos? The major problem i'm struggling with is the acne breakout that i've never had before. All over my face. It's awful. I don't even want to leave the house. So sad. Would Photodynamic Therapy help with my acne? Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers 1

Acne and PCOS

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PCOS is a hormonal abnormality where there is usually an excess of androgens (male-like hormones) in women.  It is common to see hair loss on the scalp, excessive hair growth on chin, face, chest, legs and other places that men typically grow hair.  It is also common to see cystic acne in women with PCOS.

To determine whether you have PCOS or not, you needs some blood tests which need to be done off the oral contraceptive to test for levels of various hormones as well as of insulin.  Insulin and insulin resistance are factors in PCOS, although it is not quite clear what causes what.  Interestingly when those factors are corrected, the PCOS does tend to get better.

Treatment of hormonal acne can be challenging without bringing the hormones under control but there are good treatments available. So your dermatologist, gynecologist and endocrinologist have to work together to get this straightened out.

So, I would suggest a consultation with an endocrinologist, blood work and eliminating certain foods from your diet to start.  Dairy products and high glycemic foods can contribute to hormonal abnormalities.  

For women who are not planning on getting pregnant in the near future, medications such as spironolactone, may be helpful in controlling acne due to PCOS.  

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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