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How Endometriosis, PCOS, & Fertility Treatments Affect the Skin

How Endometriosis, PCOS, & Fertility Treatments Affect the Skin

April 24-30 is Infertility Awareness Week. This week and always, we seek to understand and empower the women experiencing infertility and other illnesses that may cause it, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. We believe that no matter your medical situation, skincare is for everyone.

How Endometriosis, PCOS, & Fertility Treatments Affect the Skin


April 24-30 is Infertility Awareness Week. This week and always, we seek to understand and empower the women experiencing infertility and other illnesses that may cause it, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. We believe that no matter your medical situation, skincare is for everyone. Which is why we aim to provide the best skincare options and education to help everyone love the skin they’re in.

As a woman-owned and founded professional skincare brand, we strive to recognize hormonal conditions such as these and how they affect the skin. While we know that everyone experiences their health issues in a unique way, we also know that many women struggle with acne, sensitive skin, and overly dry or oily skin.

Here is a closer look at how endometriosis, PCOS, and fertility treatments affect the skin and how you can treat it with quality ingredients and products.


A Background on Endometriosis

Roughly 10% of all women globally have endometriosis, a condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain, heavy periods, and in the most severe cases, infertility. Endometriosis, an inflammatory condition, often comes with hormone imbalances and fluctuations that can change the skin like acne, skin sensitivity, and eczema.

Other symptoms of endometriosis might include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Iron deficiency

  • Lower back pain

  • Heavy periods

  • Painful cramps

  • Uncomfortable intercourse

Keep in mind that each person experiences this condition differently. Some women may experience just a few of these indicators, while others might have them all. If you notice any combination of the above symptoms, talk to a doctor, preferably a gynecologist that specializes in endometriosis. They can help you determine the next steps for diagnosing endometriosis and present you with treatment options to help alleviate symptoms.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is another hormonal disorder. It causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Since the illness is caused by a hormonal imbalance, particularly excess testosterone, the most expected symptoms include menstrual irregularity, excess hair growth, acne, and weight changes. It is also probable to experience indicators like those of endometriosis, which is why it is essential to reach out to your doctor for an official diagnosis.

Women with PCOS may notice that acne lesions are deeper, larger, and slower to resolve. Most often these breakouts involve painful cystic acne and whiteheads that worsen when menstruating.


Suggested Practices to Care for Endometriosis & PCOS

Unfortunately, there is not extensive research on how to reduce all symptoms that accompany endometriosis or PCOS. However, since both illnesses are inflammatory, there are some medical suggestions that diet, stress levels, and sleep will influence the severity of your symptoms. Here are a few things you might try:

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water

  • Get enough sleep

  • Reduce your stress levels

  • Avoid inflammatory foods

  • Take anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric and fish oil

  • Take an iron supplement (if anemic)

  • Track your flares so you know how and when to manage them in the future

  • Speak with a doctor about correcting hormonal imbalances


Endometriosis, PCOS, & Your Skin

Hormones play a significant part in regulating your sebum production, which causes acne when produced in excess. If you notice you’re particularly acne-prone, you may consider products that contain the following ingredients to reduce excess oil and combat pore blockages:

  • Glycolic acid

  • Salicylic acid

  • Benzoyl peroxide

  • Retinol (vitamin A)

  • Sulfur

  • Oxygen

Many women will notice their hormonal acne worsens around the time of their menstrual cycle. Experts suggest acne flares are expected to show up 7-10 days before the start of a women’s period. Taking extra precautions in your skincare routine before and during this timeframe can help sustain healthy skin. If you’re tracking your cycle, you’ll know when to expect hormonal skin changes.

Consider a light chemical peel to boost cell turnover and keep the hormonal acne at bay in the coming weeks. In terms of at-home skincare, consider adding a CBD product to your routine which will aid in regulating your sebaceous glands and delivers an elevated level of essential antioxidants.


Skin Sensitivity and Endometriosis

Endo and inflammation of the body go hand in hand, so it’s typical for someone to experience sensitized skin, and potentially eczema. Thankfully, there are plenty of gentle, hydrating ingredients that restore and conserve hydration in the skin. A few ingredients to look for include peptides, ceramides, shea butter, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid.

You can find these restorative ingredients in many GlyMed products, such as:

  • Cell Protection Serum

  • CBD Micro Silver Miracle

  • Intense Peptide Skin Recovery Complex

  • Amino Acid Epidermal Sealant w/ PC10

  • Hand and Body Lotion


How Fertility Treatments Affect Skin Many aspiring mothers who struggle with infertility opt for hormonal medications and treatments to further their chances of pregnancy. For these enduring women, it’s no secret that fluctuations in hormones and stress will change the way their skin behaves. Increased progesterone levels can stimulate sebaceous glands, resulting in an over production of oil and acne breakouts. But not everyone’s case is the same. Women undergoing hormonal treatments for fertility purposes might experience some of the following side-effects in their skin:

  • Dry, flaky skin

  • Skin irritation

  • Skin puffiness and inflammation

  • Pigmentation changes in the skin

  • Melasma

  • Rosacea flares (if present)

Treating Your Hormonal Skin Caused by Fertility Treatments Skin that is being affected by hormones may sound difficult to treat but choosing the right topical options can help soothe and normalize your skin even when your body is working against you. The first step to finding the right balance in your skincare is defining your main concerns. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to skin. Oily, acne-prone skin will not be treated the same way as dry, pigmented skin will. If you’re looking for the best skincare recommendations during fertility treatments, visiting your aesthetician is the best way to zero in on your concerns and fit you with proper treatment options both in their practice and at home. Ingredients to Stay Away from During Fertility Treatments According to fertility experts, there are certain ingredients or high-potency formulas that expecting, and nursing mothers should stay away from. More recently, doctors are asking their fertility patients undergoing treatments to take similar precautions. Here are the ingredients to avoid during this time:

  • Salicylic acid

  • Benzoyl peroxide

  • Retinol

  • Hydroquinone

  • Arnica

Find A GlyMed Pro for Advice and Treatment Options With the right treatments and regimen, you can control changes in your skin due to hormones and other factors. GlyMed dedicates its efforts to exploring ingredients and formulations that work for a broad scope of skin conditions and we’re proud to offer an extensive line of professional products that support everyone in their journey to discovering confidence in their skin.

Looking for an aesthetician that can treat your hormonal skin and offer home care advice? Connect with support@glymedplusaustralia.com.au to find a professional clinic near you.



Written by The Institute of Skin Science