PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is not something you hear about every day. Yet it is estimated to affect almost 10% of women in their reproductive years. Classic symptoms can include weight gain, infertility, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Very often one of the first ways a diagnosis is made is by looking at the skin. Symptoms often start to manifest themselves outwardly hence sending someone to visit their Doctor. It is normally at this time that a physician will order detailed ultrasounds of the ovaries and blood work. From here your Doctor can advise what plan of action to take to help you manage your skin problems as well as the many other conditions related to this disorder.

Here are some common skin conditions linked to the health of your ovaries that may warrant a visit to your Doctor for a checkup:

1) Acne – The relationship between acne to your diet and metabolism has being widely researched due to the effects of insulin resistance caused by PCOS. One of the tell-tale signs of this poor balance is severe cystic acne. Since the cause of acne is multifactorial in its origin, a strong case is to be made that a poor balance of insulin in the blood caused by PCOS causes acne to increase in severity and become unmanageable without medical intervention.
2) Excess Hair Growth – Find yourself slowly growing a beard or moustache? It’s no joke that one of the tell-tale signs of PCOS is excess hair growth. This can occur on your face, your arms and legs, and even your belly. Many times it will be darker and thicker than your normal hair colour. If this is happening, get to your Doctor stat.
3) Hair Loss – The opposite can also occur. Many women who are not entering menopause and are losing their hair chock it up to just stress or hormonal changes. If you are experiencing bald spots you will need to see your Doctor for a follow up.
4) Dark Patches of Skin – Finding your armpits and the nape of your neck is getting darker in colour? This is also another sign of insulin resistance often triggered by PCOS.
5) Skin Tags – Many people suffering from high blood sugar see an uptick in the number of skin tags popping up around their neck. Don’t blame the scarf, see a Doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Your body is a system. Your hormones trigger and control many aspects of your metabolism, not just your reproductive system. And the reverse is also true. Imbalances in your reproductive system can wreak havoc on your metabolism, manifesting in all sorts of health and skin issues. If PCOS is your diagnosis, it is very important to seek help to prevent further health conditions from arising. Being healthy and balanced within will reflect itself on the outside.