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Diet and Acne for Women with PCOS

There are a lot of rumours out there about PCOS diet, weight loss and acne but what is true??⁠

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Do you suffer from acne?

If you're like most women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, your skin tends to act up. You've probably tried every topical cream and cleanser out there, but nothing seems to clear it up for good.

Well, what if I told you that the solution to your skin problems was as simple as making changes to your diet?

Believe it or not, there are certain foods that can aggravate acne and make it worse. In this blog post, I'll share with you some tips on how to eat for clearer skin.

So whether you're dealing with occasional breakouts or stubborn pimples that just won't go away, keep reading for helpful advice on how to get your complexion under control!

I'm a PCOS Dietitian and I'm going to share with you some of the best tips for clear skin. So keep reading!

Before we get starting, if you are reading this and you are worried about your skin, you are beautiful with acne, blemishes, and skin “flaws”.

You are are not your skin and you are worthy regardless of your skin!

I am not a Dermatologist but here is a little primer on what happens in our skin during acne formation:

1.Our pores become clogged with dead skin cells & an oily waxy substance called sebum (produced by our sebaceous glands)

2. Bacteria proliferate in the blocked pore

3. The skin ruptures which forms a red pump (it’s usually inflamed & angry)

4. White blood cells are sent to get rid of the bacterial infection

5. White blood cells die & accumulate in the pore which forms the pimple or pustule

6. Eventually, white blood cells take care of the infection & it heals over time

There are many factors that can contribute to the formation of acne, including genetics, hormones, and diet. While acne is often thought of as a problem limited to the surface of the skin, it can actually be a symptom of a deeper issue, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

For this reason, it is important to talk to a dermatologist if you are struggling with acne especially if you have treatment resistant acne over the age of 25. In addition to traditional treatments like creams and oral medications, they may also recommend changes to your diet or lifestyle.

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Healthy Eating Habits for Women with PCOS to Prevent Acne Breakouts

Dairy and PCOS Symptoms

Dairy has been blamed for a lot lately such as inflammation but the link between acne and milk consumption has been around for a while!

The proposed method of dairy aggravating acne are:

1. Increased IGF-1 (insulin growth-like factor)

  • May increase acne by raising levels of inflammatory biomarkers & sebum production

2. Increased insulin & cellular growth

  • Insulin raises levels of androgens (testosterone) & IGF-1 levels

3. Increased androgens

  • Androgens stimulate more sebum production

4. Increased insulin resistance and male hormones can worsen PCOS symptoms which will exacerbate acne

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Which Dairy Products Increase Acne Breakouts?

There is a stronger association between skim milk products & acne breakouts than whole milk products.

Research suggests that skim milk may trigger hormone fluctuations that can lead to acne breakouts.

Whole milk products, on the other hand, are less likely to cause these fluctuations.

Good news for cheese lovers, cheese products are less associated with acne than milk.

Blood Sugar Balance and PCOS Symptoms

Poor blood sugar balance means you struggle with higher blood sugar levels. One of the most common but often overlooked PCOS symptoms is insulin resistance.

Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When your insulin sensitivity decreases, it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be.

This can lead to a number of problems, including acne, difficulty losing weight, and increased food cravings.

While there is no cure for PCOS, making dietary and lifestyle changes can help to manage the condition and improve your skin health.