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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - Managing Hair Problems and Acne
General Gynaecology 



Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) suffer from hair and skin problems such as hirsutism, alopecia, and severe acne. These symptoms are caused by a hormonal imbalance where there are high levels of androgen hormones. Because they are noticeable and socially regarded as non-feminine traits, they can be highly distressing for many women.

What Hair and Acne Problems Are Common in PCOS?

Hair and acne problems are experienced by women with PCOS. Hair problems include hirsutism and alopecia. Hirsutism is a condition where there is excess hair on the face and body. Alopecia is a condition characterised by hair loss in areas like the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, female and male genitals, and body hair. However, the most common alopecia in women is androgenetic alopecia.


Acne is a skin condition where the pores are closed up with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. These clogged pores may be: closed (whiteheads), opened (blackheads), small, red, and bumpy (papules), with pus at the ends (pimples), big, painful lumps (nodules), or pus-filled lumps (cysts).


Treatment and Management

Hair and acne problems can be treated using a variety of options:

Cosmetic treatments

Cosmetic treatments for excess hair include waxing, laser hair removal, and electrolysis. Laser hair removal is usually the treatment with the best results for hair removal. Your doctor may recommend a trained professional or dermatologist who will use the right machine and technique for your skin type. uses.


Acne can be treated using creams and gels that reduce pore plugging, sebum (skin oil) production, and inflammation.

Medical treatments

These involve prescription drugs by your doctor. The medications usually used to treat alopecia, excess hair, and acne include:

  • The combined oral contraceptive pill
  • Anti-androgen drugs
  • Other medications for acne and hair loss

The action, use, and side effects of these medications will be explained by your doctor.


Changes to skin and hair can be embarrassing and frustrating for many women living with PCOS. If you want support to treat and manage these areas, it is a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider. 


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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