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Should you go to a dermatologist when you have PCOS or PCOD and other questions answered!

Do you really need a dermatologist's help in dealing with PCOD?

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : July 11, 2017 8:28 AM IST

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition where a woman s sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are low and the male sex hormone testosterone is high. This condition leads to a lot of problems in women and affects ovulation, menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac functions and aesthetics too. Fertility and conception are only a part of the problem. For younger women in their early twenties acne, facial hair, pigmentation is also a cause of concern. They usually seek help from a dermatologist to correct this problem. But dermatologists can only help to an extent. Here we got talking to Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist, Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai to know how much a dermatologist can help in dealing with the problems of PCOD.

How can a dermatologist help in treating acne and other aesthetic issues that arise due to PCOD?

PCOD treatment needs a three-pronged approach. It can be dealt in sync with a gynaecologist, an endocrinologist and a dermatologist. One should understand that in PCOD hormonal imbalances lead to acne, facial hair, pigmentation and other cosmetic issues and a dermatologist will be of minimal help. Even if we try to solve issues of stubborn acne scars or suggest laser treatment for facial hair removal, the underlying cause would remain untreated. PCOD needs medical help. Unless the hormonal imbalances are corrected, cosmetic issues will never resolve themselves. Here are some random reasons for acne you didn t know.

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How should a dermatologist treat or counsel a PCOD patient?

Women suffering from PCOD represent some classical symptoms like severe acne, facial hair, unwanted hair growth, weight gain and hair fall. Once the diagnosis is done, further tests are done to ascertain the cause on the basis of symptoms. If PCOD is detected, we refer patients to either an endocrinologist or a gynaecologist to get started with proper treatment. Our role is to help the person deal with the removal of scars and pigmentation with laser or other advanced cosmetic methods once her hormonal imbalances are corrected.

Should one meet a dermatologist even after getting treatment from a gynaecologist or endocrinologist?

If the patient is taking medications to correct hormonal imbalances most of her cosmetic problems get resolved on their own. However, if there are aesthetic issues like scars or pigmentation that refuse to budge even after medication, then we can plan a cosmetic procedure to help her deal with the same.

Are patients more worried about the cosmetic troubles due to PCOD than the physiological ones?

We see a lot of young women who suffer from PCOD come to a dermatologist for instant help. Some of them may be unmarried and some may not be planning their pregnancy any time soon; so they think correcting the cosmetic issues is more important than correcting the hormonal imbalances. In such cases, we counsel them that despite the treatment their problems might not go away on their own. Some take the advice and some don t but we cannot impose our thoughts on patients. But we do try to tell them that even though aesthetics is important, if your hormones are not on your side, nothing might help.

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