Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This is a common cause of acne and sometimes increased body and facial hair growth in women. It affects about 5% of the population of adult women. There are a variety of tests that can be done to confirm this diagnosis including very safe scans of the ovaries and blood tests to check on your (testosterone) androgen or male type hormones that are present in both men and women.

The cause of increased hair growth and acne is excess androgen which is mainly produced by the ovaries, but also partly from the adrenal gland which puts out additional hormones including testosterone if you are stressed. There are a variety of treatment options that are successful at reducing or blocking the effects of the excess androgen hormone, including some oral contraceptive pills such as Yasmin. It is important to note that there is a higher risk of side effects with Yasmin than some other oral contraceptive pills. In addition, the tablet called Spironolactone can be taken every morning.

This is also used for blood pressure and as a water tablet, but has been shown convincingly to have anti-androgen hormone blocking effects. This can help adult women with persistent acne related to overactivity of androgens, or acne "sensitive" to androgens. It also reduces the amount of body hair growth.

If you have acne that does not improve with these treatments, you can treat and be treated with:

- Non prescription anti blemish and skin oil reducing products. Try the Dr Nick Lowe Blemish Solutions Range.
- Prescription creams eg. Differin, topical antibiotics.
- Prescription oral antibiotics.
- Clinical treatments offered at the Cranley Clinic include: Isolaz, Peels, Microdermabrasion Dermasweep   steam and extraction treatments. If you have embarrassing hair growth on your face, body, legs or arms, our Laser Hair Removal is highly effective.