What gives? We needed to know what excess hair growth, acne & the other things that our bodies are trying to tell us so we asked Dr. Kopp at Schweiger Dermatology Group for some answers. Here’s what he told us:
If you are suffering from excess facial & body hair, you are not alone. Hirsutism, or excess hair growth, can be a symptom of excess male hormones in the body. One of the most common reasons is polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS.
PCOS is a collection of symptoms that include acne, scalp hair thinning, hirsutism, weight gain, ovarian cysts, & irregular periods. Often, women with PCOS have struggles with infertility & can be prone to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, & high cholesterol. If you have two of these symptoms it is important to talk to your gynecologist & dermatologist to rule out other mimickers of PCOS & discuss treatment options.
Dietary changes such as increasing fiber & lowering consumption of processed & sugary foods can help with weight loss & insulin resistance. If dietary & exercise modification are not enough, symptoms can be controlled with birth control pills &/or a medication called spironolactone which blocks the effects of male hormones. Metformin may be also considered to decrease insulin resistance & risk of diabetes. It is also important to have regular physical exams & lab work to monitor progression. Please don’t suffer in silence!