Managing the PCOS-Related Symptoms of Hirsutism, Acne, and Hair Loss

    August 2013 in “Springer eBooks
    Beth McAvey, Harry Lieman
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    TLDR Birth control pills and anti-androgen medications help manage hair growth, acne, and hair loss in women with PCOS.
    The 2013 document outlines the management of hirsutism, acne, and hair loss in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It highlights the use of combined oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) and anti-androgen agents as common treatments for these symptoms. For hirsutism, anti-androgens like spironolactone, flutamide, and finasteride are effective, with studies showing significant decreases in symptoms. Cyproterone acetate is also effective but not available in the US. For acne, OCPs with low androgenic progestins are beneficial, and a study of 30 women showed a 77% resolution of acne with a biphasic OCP. Topical minoxidil and oral finasteride are FDA-approved for hair loss, with minoxidil improving hair growth in women with androgenic alopecia. The document also discusses the use of laser therapy and notes that while low-level light therapy for hair loss is gaining popularity, its efficacy is not well-supported. Hair transplantation is a permanent solution for hair loss, but ongoing medical therapy is recommended post-transplant.
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