Too much hair, threading & PCOS – options?

Hi Dr. Irwin! I'm an 18 year old Indian with relatively fair skin and have PCOS. As a result, I also have horrible hirsutism, for which I take diannete. I usually get my face threaded ( let my hair grow out one week and get it threaded after that week) but recently I started plucking almost everyday and getting my face threaded every third week. I've been doing this for two months and noticed that my skin is a bit more tan now. How can I reverse the effects? Should I stop plucking? Thank you!

As you know already, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) causes hormonal irregularities and often, increased hair growth in women. 

Also, anything that repeatedly irritates the skin and the hair follicles, especially in those with brown eyes and/or darker skin types, can cause an increases in pigment.  Sometimes that pigment is blotchy (as in just around the hair follicles) and sometimes it’s a more even brown, if the irritation is more uniform. 

Please read through this article and make sure first you are doing all the basics to prevent tanning and brown spots listed here.  The basics usually include an antioxidant like the Phoretin CF by SkinCeuticals, a sunscreen with at least 10-20% zinc/titanium daily and possibly a prescription hydroquinone from your doctor or an OTC Retinol.   Always start one product at a time and use it for several days at least before adding a second one.  Stop any product that irritates you.

Then it is worthwhile, in my opinion, to at least consider laser hair removal!  There are hair removal systems like the Nd:YAG for lighter indian, hispanic, or asian skin types, that if done by dermatologist’s office that is expert in this, could give you a lot of relief longterm.   It’s true that you will need a greater than average number of treatments and more maintenance due to your PCOS.

Hope this helps,

Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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