Cutaneous Findings and Systemic Associations in Women With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    April 2016 in “JAMA Dermatology
    Timothy H. Schmidt, Keshav Khanijow, Marcelle I. Cedars, Heather G. Huddleston, Lauri A. Pasch, Erica T. Wang, Julie Lee, Lee T. Zane, Kanade Shinkai
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    TLDR Women with PCOS often have more body hair, acne, and skin darkening, and these signs are linked to metabolic issues like insulin resistance and high cholesterol.
    The study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, from 2006 to 2012, included 401 women and found that those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) had significantly higher rates of hirsutism, acne, and acanthosis nigricans (AN) compared to those without PCOS. Elevated total testosterone levels were also more common in women with PCOS. Hirsutism and AN were particularly associated with higher rates of metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and increased body mass index (BMI). The study concluded that hirsutism and AN are reliable cutaneous markers of PCOS and are linked to systemic metabolic comorbidities, while acne and androgenic alopecia, despite being prevalent, were not reliable indicators of biochemical hyperandrogenism in this population.
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