This is the 3rdand final part of our three-part PCOS series. As we mentioned in part 1 (available to read here), we are lucky enough to help lots of ladies combat and manage excessive hair growth, and in part 2 (available to read here), we explored your options to alleviate and recover from acne. As you know from this series of posts, one of our team members has PCOS herself and she has been exploring what is available to help women with the symptoms they have to self-manage.
Part 3 is about dark skin patches and skin tags:
Just to recap, in part 1 and 2 of this series of PCOS posts I spoke about how I was first diagnosed with PCOS when I was 29. Now 40, I have tried lots of ways to self-manage some of my PCOS symptoms that the NHS don’t generally support us women with.
Here, again, are the most common associated symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular periods– more or less often, or missed months
- Hirsutism– excessive hair, often where men usually have more hair than women – READ MORE HERE IN PART 1
- Acne or oily skin – READ MORE HERE IN PART 2
- Thinning hair– hair loss on the scalp
- Weight gain
- Dark skin patches
- Skin tags
- Difficulty in getting pregnant
Dark skin patches
I have quite a lot of small dark skin patches all over my body, on the inside of one knee, on the tops of the inside of my thighs and on my face. Generally, they don’t cause me any issues, but I am very aware of the ones on my face.
On the tops of my cheeks, under my eyes, on both sides of my face I have dark skin patches. These are not obvious in the winter and sometimes go altogether. But, in the summer, due to sun exposure, they get darker much quicker than the rest of my face naturally tanning.
I remember a friend saying I’d not rubbed in my foundation enough on one side. Of course, it wasn’t foundation, it was one of my dark patches. Once I have an all over tan on my face, my skin catches up with itself and I get a more even colour. But on the way to this, it can become quite obvious.
Fake tanning helps a lot and using a slightly darker shade of foundation also helps. I am aware of these darker patches but to be honest, they are not something that I would necessarily do anything about.
However, for some people they can be much worse, either physically or mentally. There is good news though. You don’t have to live with it and manage it day to day. There are treatments that can make a huge difference and help to even your skin tone.
In the first instance, having a series of HydraFacials, will help to improve the condition and health of your skin and give you a good base to work with.
Then there are a few different routes you could take depending on the colouring or size of your uneven skin tone.
Using a product specifically for uneven skin tones can help without needing anything more. There some great AlumierMD products that really work:
- Eventone Brightning Serum, is a lightweight moisturising serum that works to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- Retinol Resurfacing Serum, that reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and blemishes.As your skin gets used to a retinol product you can up the strength of the retinol. Products range from 0.25% to 1% pure retinol.
If you want something harder working and want to see results quicker, you could try a
Lumecca Medical IPL treatment. It uses intense pulsed light to treat pigmentation and even skin tone. You can treat anywhere on your body too.
It is a pain free treatment and you can see results after just one session. You might need a few treatments to fully reduce the appearance of the pigmentation. Have a look here at some of the before and after photos.
Because this is a pulsed light treatment it can leave skin sensitive to sunlight for s short period. Therefore it is best to have this treatment when you are able to keep out of the sun for a few weeks afterwards.
Skin tags are raised lumps or flaps of extra skin on your body. They are usually the same colour as your skin, or they could be reddish in colour. They are completely harmless, although it is always worth running them past your GP to confirm they are just skin tags.
Depending on where they are, you probably won’t even notice them day to day. But, for some people they are in locations that mean clothing, jewellery or seatbelts etc. can rub against them.
I have quite a few of them on my upper chest. Mine are red lumps, almost like a drop of wax on my skin. I have never been impacted by them being there. My children have pointed at them lots and asked what they are or said they are not very nice. For me, it has been a chance to show them that everyone is different, and skin isn’t a perfect canvas.
If you have skin tags that impact you; cause you pain, discomfort, or you just don’t like having them, there is a treatment to help.
CryoPen Cryotherapy is a small pen-like device that freezes skin tags using N20. The process destroys the tissue and cells in the skin tag making it disappear. It can work in just one treatment and takes up to two weeks for the final results to show.
This treatment is pain-free and highly effective. This treatment can be done on any area of the body, even very close to the eye as it doesn’t impact the skin around the skin tag. CryoPen Cryotherapy can also be used to treat very dark areas of pigmentation.
The team at Skintique, are experts in helping women with PCOS related skin issues. They have seen it all before, so nobody needs to feel embarrassed about showing anything or talking about their issues or concerns. The team just want to help everyone feel comfortable in their own skin.
Book in to have a
free skin consultation at Skintique, (this blog post was written in May 2019 and since then many things have changed, not least our consultations which are no longer free) and make a difference to how you self-manage your PCOS symptoms.