According to research, the prevalence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) has found to be greater in patients with psoriasis. PCOS is a condition of the female reproductive system that causes small cysts or tiny sacs of fluids to form on the ovaries.
Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition in which new skin cells develop more rapidly than they normally do. This condition affects the skin with red-white patches or silvery scares that can be itchy.
According to medical experts, there is a strong link between the two. Studies reveal that the prevalence of PCOD was ‘remarkably greater’ or six times higher among women with psoriasis. As PCOS contributes to infertility and also affects the skin, chances are that this can increase the possibility of causing the flare-up of already existing psoriasis.
This strong association between PCOS and psoriasis is also because both the diseases have similar associated conditions. Additionally, women with PCOS and psoriasis are more likely to have insulin resistance (IR), hyperinsulinemia, reduced HDL cholesterol levels and a more severe form of psoriasis than those living with psoriasis alone.
Dr Shehnaz Arsiwala, Dermatologist – Saifee Hospital & Prince Aly Khan Hospital, Founder and Director Renewderm Centre Skin Laser highlight five things you can do to manage PCOS and Psoriasis:
Watch your weight: Obesity and weight gain are linked with psoriasis and PCOS. Women who are simultaneously living with psoriasis and PCOS must take precautions to prevent further weight gain and work towards achieving their target Body Mass Index (BMI). A regular exercise routine, diet management and medications (under the guidance from a team of dermatologist, endocrinologist and dietician) can be beneficial.
Stop alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption can lead to fatty liver which can trigger psoriasis and boosting the metabolism of hormones in PCOS. If you suffer from both psoriasis and PCOS, alcohol consumption may trigger psoriasis flare-ups and may also increase the severity of PCOS.
Effective medication: Skin changes are an effect of both, PCOS and psoriasis. Timely intervention and adherence to treatment for both PCOS and psoriasis are imperative for a better quality of life. It is crucial that you manage both the conditions with guidance from your doctors. For example, speak to your dermatologist about the medications your gynaecologist/endocrinologist has prescribed and vice versa.
Balance insulin and cholesterol level: Regular exercise is the key to manage your insulin resistance levels. In addition to this, keep a closer check on your cholesterol levels. Since PCOS is a metabolic syndrome, higher cholesterol levels can further trigger the severity of this syndrome which can even show increased psoriasis flare-ups. Therefore, it is advised to follow a consistent workout routine.
A holistic approach towards treatment: Since both PCOS and psoriasis need prolonged treatment and care with long-term lifestyle changes, depression and low self-esteem may weigh you down. However, having a positive and holistic approach towards managing these conditions, willingness to adhere to treatment along with the support from family and friends will ensure long intervals of remission and better quality of life for patients.