Recent global estimates state that anywhere from six to 18% of women in their reproductive years suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), polycystic ovary syndrome affects up to five million American women of childbearing age. This article concentrates specifically on polycystic ovary syndrome-related skin and hair growth concerns.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is an endocrine hormonal condition that creates excessive amounts of testosterone in the body. Testosterone is an androgen (male) hormone that increases sebum and skin cell production, two key contributors to acne. Increased testosterone levels also contribute to hair growth and hyperpigmentation.
Polycystic ovary syndrome patients often have high levels of insulin, a hormone that converts digested food into energy. Insulin resistance, a condition where the body’s cells do not respond correctly to insulin, leads to high androgen levels.
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