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All About PCOS Skin Darkening, Acne, and Skin Tags

PCOS Skin acne

There are a lot more symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) than just missed periods. Of course, there’s a lot of chaos that comes from erratic menstrual cycles, but PCOS is a chronic condition that affects almost all parts of a woman’s body. 

Other symptoms women with PCOS deal with include weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, infertility, sleep disturbances, headaches, and even skin problems! That last one is the one I’m focusing on today. Acne, skin tags, and skin darkening (AKA hyperpigmentation.)

What is the link between PCOS and skin issues? And, how can you fix it??? I’ve got some answers for you today. Here’s what you need to know about PCOS and your skin.

all about pcos,skin darkening, acne, and skin tags

All About PCOS Skin Darkening, Acne, and Skin Tags

Can PCOS Cause Darkening of the Skin and Other Skin Conditions?

ABSOLUTELY! Remember, the skin is an organ, so when our body is experiencing a lot of internal turmoil, it makes sense that your skin would start to show signs of those issues. 

There are two main culprits of skin problems for Cysters: hormone imbalances and insulin resistance. This is the breakdown: 

  • Hyperpigmentation: High insulin resistance stimulates melanin production and controls distribution, resulting in dark spots. 
  • Acne: Excess male hormones in the body (androgens) can cause excess sebum production, which prompts acne! 
  • Skin Tags: Though researchers aren’t certain where skin tags come from, it seems to be directly tied to high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. 

So, yeah! PCOS can definitely cause a variety of skin issues. Insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances unfortunately work together in a vicious cycle. Elevated androgens in the body can make your body insulin resistant, interfering with the signaling in the body in a way that prevents your cells from processing sugar appropriately. Then, insulin resistance can trigger your ovaries to produce more androgens. These two things wrestle back and forth, creating most of your PCOS symptoms. 

Luckily, since these two issues are linked and both to blame for your PCOS skin issues, fixing just two things can help you see a ton of relief! Here are some things you can bring to your doctor when it’s time to discuss a treatment plan for your PCOS skin concerns:

how to treat pcos skin pigmentation,acne, and skin tags

How to Treat PCOS Skin Pigmentation, Acne, and Skin Tags 

Maintain a balanced diet. 

One of the best ways to get a handle on your PCOS skin issues is to first look at your diet. Eating a healthy diet isn’t just about losing weight especially not with PCOS! It’s about improving your symptoms in every category, including skin health. 

Going with an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan is best for Cysters. Inflammation can trigger insulin resistance and hormone imbalances as your body fights “perceived” threats like gluten and dairy. I recommend trying to go gluten and dairy free for 30 days to see if it reduces inflammation if you have PCOS!

Beyond the anti-inflammatory benefits, choosing healthier food options can lower your blood sugar and help your body develop insulin sensitivity. Remember, insulin resistance and hormone imbalances are linked, so usually when you fix one, the other naturally follows!

You can learn more here about healthy eating with PCOS. But, you can also download The Cysterhood app, for delicious meal plans catered specifically to your PCOS body! It can be a game change for all of your symptoms, including your skin tags, acne, and hyperpigmentation! Here’s one of my favorites from The Cysterhood App, Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders!

balanced diet meal

Stay hydrated. 

It’s no secret that your skin needs hydration! Water helps transport hormones throughout the body, so that’s definitely a plus for hormone balance and the reduction of hormone-related skin problems! 

Beyond that, a hydrated body will also flush out toxins easier, which can reduce inflammation. And, proper hydration keeps your skin soft, healthy, and ready to filter out environmental toxins from entering your body. I think it’s safe to say water can have a big impact on your health, Cysters! Let’s get sipping! 

Protect your skin from UV rays. 

If you’ve been hanging around for a while, you know I am ALL about getting out in nature. Spending time outside is great for your sleep hygiene, mental health, and general wellbeing. However, as much as I love the sun, I don’t love the damaging UV rays!

Sunscreen is your best friend for hyperpigmentation and acne. UV rays can actually trigger melanin production and worsen skin darkening. Plus, the damage from the sun can leave your skin dry, irritated, exposed, and acne-prone. Make sure sunscreen is part of your skincare routine! 

Exercise regularly. 

Working out is great for every part of your body, even your skin. Exercise can help detoxify your skin, increase blood flow to your cells, balance hormones, and decrease insulin resistance. All of this is great for strong, healthy skin! Chronic issues with hyperpigmentation, skin tags, acne, dryness, dullness, and more can be alleviated using exercise!

But, “exercise” is pretty vague, right? The best exercises for PCOS are low-impact workouts like slow weighted workouts, yoga, swimming, walking, pilates, etc. Just make sure you’re not doing anything that’s really getting your heart rate going and making your body produce a lot of adrenaline and cortisol (that’ll just send us right back into that insulin resistant and hormone imbalance cycle.) 

You can find a library of slow weighted workouts in The Cysterhood app that are specialized for your PCOS body! 

PCOS workout

Update your skincare routine. 

Speaking of skincare routine you need to have one. I waited too long to get down a really good skincare routine, and I totally regret not doing it earlier. It’s essential for managing skin darkening and acne. 

You need glycolic or hyaluronic acid cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen in that order. Plus, you should be gently exfoliating once a week to remove dead skin cells, encourage cell turnover, and brighten darkened skin. For more specific, listen to my episode of A Cyster and Her Mister all about PCOS skincare!  

Reduce stress. 

Managing stress is essential for getting control of your hormone levels and insulin resistance. Excess cortisol can prompt lots of imbalances and reactions that trigger PCOS symptoms, including skin problems. (I don’t think you need a reminder that stress can cause acne, but now you know it can contribute to skin tags and skin darkening too!) 

I know, I know, reducing stress is super hard. Whether you’re a Cyster with a career, family, busy schedule, or all of the above, removing the mental load off your shoulders is TOUGH. I recommend spending time in nature, exercising, doing things you love, and getting lots of sleep! 

metabolism plus and ovasitol nutrients

Take the right vitamins and supplements.

Even with a great diet and all the right lifestyle changes, our bodies still won’t have everything they need to thrive. Having PCOS strips you of essential nutrients because chronic inflammation makes it harder to absorb these nutrients!

Some of these vitamins and nutrients help SO MUCH with skin health (among lots of other PCOS benefits.) And, the best part? You can get all the supplements listed below from Ovafit! All supplements in my line are NSF-certified, hypoallergenic, PCOS-diet friendly, and specialized to a Cyster’s unique needs. 

Supplements designed and curated with PCOS mind??? YEP! That’s exactly what we’ve got at Ovafit. Here are the nutrients in the Metabolism Plus bundle and Ovasitol powder that will give your skin a much-needed boost: 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C in recent years has basically become legendary for being fantastic for the skin! It helps stimulate collagen production, reduce hyperpigmentation, and protect your skin from UV damage. It’s also anti-inflammatory, which is huge for acne and skin redness! 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can also help with your PCOS skin issues! Studies show it can help ease and repair hyperpigmentation while moisturizing, nourishing, and protecting the skin. All of this is a bonus for reversing acne and skin tags too! 

Zinc

Zinc has amazing benefits for hormone balance. Aside from being anti-inflammatiory, zinc can balance your excess androgens and help get your testosterone back to normal levels when combined with other hormone balancing treatments on this list. Once you’ve got hormones under control, you can break free from insulin resistance and see plenty of improvements in your hyperpigmentation, acne, and skin tags. 

Omega 3

Omega-3 is another supplement that’ll aid in inflammation relief! This is awesome for acne, but omega-3 fatty acids can help with hyperpigmentation and skin tags by maintaining your skin’s natural barrier and keeping you hydrated! 

Ovasitol 

Ovasitol is one of my FAVORITE supplements for PCOS because of its incredible hormone balancing abilities! If you remember, PCOS is a hormonal condition, so regulating hormones can help you totally reverse your symptoms and heal your PCOS naturally! As inositol balances your hormones, you’ll likely see your skin clear up and brighten! Bye-bye darkened skin and acne!!!

The only way to treat PCOS skin is to get to the root of the problem!

The root of your PCOS skin care issues is inflammation, hormone imbalance, and insulin resistance. All three of those things are in a tug-of-war with each other and your whole body is experiencing symptoms because of it. It’s time to be done with acne, skin tags, and dark skin patches caused by PCOS. 
Try these helpful tips and talk to your doctor about Ovafit supplements to start taking control of your life and gaining your confidence back with clear, refreshed, and glowing skins despite PCOS. You can do it!