December 6, 2011 by staff
Sickness Shows, Beauty is more than skin deep, and we’re not just talking about having a congenial personality. “Our skin can reflect what’s going on inside our body,” says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “As part of the immune system, the skin defends against environmental factors. But when your body is fighting an ailment, it can get overwhelmed and things like acne and redness can show up.” Here, how to read the signs in the mirror.
The problem: Chin acne
The cause: Hormonal imbalance
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“Deep, cystic acne on the chin or along the jaw line can be a sign of underlying polycystic ovary syndrome [PCOS] and other types of hormonal abnormalities,” says Chapas. Left untreated, the condition can increase your risk for diabetes and infertility.
Get healthy: For certain patients, going on birth control pills is an effective way to balance hormone levels and clear up skin. (The pill is also very effective for treating symptoms of PCOS.) If you prefer a nonhormonal option, ask your M.D. about spironolactone, a prescription med that blocks testosterone receptors, thus preventing the skin’s oil glands from going into overdrive in some patients. Skipping dessert can help too, since extra insulin stimulates the hormone production linked to breakouts. “Some studies show that eliminating processed sugars and sticking to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables may also mitigate the hormonal stimuli that can lead to acne,” adds Chapas.
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