Managing bad skin?!: Hi! I’m new, nice to... - PCOS UK (Verity)

PCOS UK (Verity)

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Managing bad skin?!


Hi! I’m new, nice to be here. I’m 32 and was diagnosed with PCOS 5 years ago. Since then I have had two beautiful babies, both via IVF. My youngest is now 13 months and we’re just coming to the end of breastfeeding. I’m starting to get some PCOS symptoms again, mostly ovarian/pelvic pain and bad skin. I know it’s vain and not that important in the grand scheme of things, but my skin really bothers me. I get sore cystic acne around and in between my eyebrows, in my hairline and on my scalp. I know that my PCOS responds well to the combined oral contraceptive pill but I’d really like to try and find an alternative if possible. Does anyone have anything that’s worked for them? Thanks! :)

6 Replies

Low sugar diet with excercise and myo inositol tablets did help me quite a bit to regulate my cycles and skin outbreaks (plus any skin care or makeup not on cream or oil base and rather gel or water based instead). Some people get metformin which can sort out the symptoms as well but is of course more of an intervention and a lot of GPs refuse to prescribe it.

Hi, thank you so much for your reply. My fertility consultant had me on myo inositol and it didn’t seem to do much but we had a lot of other stuff going on back then so it’s probably worth trying again. I could definitely do with reducing sugar in my diet! I discussed metformin with my GP but she said it wouldn’t help with my acne and wasn’t keen to prescribe it because I have a healthy BMI. I have no idea if this is correct and I didn’t push it at the time. I’ve read about a lot of success stories with it, I wonder why GPs seem to be reluctant to prescribe it here.

It is an off label use for PCOS, Metformin is normally prescribed to regupate diabetes. Most of the PCOS people with a high BMI have problems with insulin sensitivity and Metformin can sort this out. This should solve all symptoms including weight gain, hormone imbalance and acne. If you have s lower BMI you could be still insulin resistant, is hard to say really but could be worth a try. Myo innositol takes a while to work unfortunately as does cutting out sugars. Sugars also mean all kinds off, so basically eating like people with diabetes. Very little sugar/honey/agave syrup if at all, no white rice, no white breads or pasta. Wholegrain stuff in limited amounts is ok and potatoes in limited amounts are ok if boiled, cooled and then eaten (or reheated). Wholegrain bread apparently is better once it has been frozen. Look out for hidden sugars - they are everywhere... you'd need to ready meals etc and even in some wholemeal food, the hide sugar or molasses (=also sugar). Most important: have cheat days sometimes.

I’m so sorry I just realised I never replied to you. Thank you so much for this, it’s really helpful. I’ll definitely give the myo-inositol another go. I’ve been putting off cutting sugar because as you say, they are everywhere, but it’s probably time to try that one too! Interesting information about metformin, I’ll discuss it again with my gp when I next see them.

Hi! I haven't tried it yet but I was recommended by the GP to try Roaccutane, only issue is that with the underlying condition (PCOS) it isn't 100% going to get rid of the acne, and it could come back (improved) after treatment.

I am supposed to start the course myself after the summer as you can't take it when it's sunny as it makes your skin very sensitive (living in Cyprus atm).

I've also found that a weeks course of antibiotics (tetracycline) can really help when cystic acne comes up along my jawline.

Not sure if that will help or not! Maybe see what your GP says.

Hi there, I saw a Dermatologist and she placed me on antibiotics and then spironolactone (used off label) to treat excess androgens that were causing hormonal acne. It worked so well to get rid of my acne but I couldn’t tolerate the side effects from the tablets.

There are other options and I would recommend seeing a Dermatologist as they can give you the options that are best for you.

If not wanting to take any “drugs” then maybe see a nutritionist who can help with supplements and diet.

Hope your acne gets better. I know it’s really difficult but hopefully you can find a solution that works for you x

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