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Anon
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from Singapore asked a question

What's the next step if I suspect that my acne, irregular periods and weight gain is due to hormones?

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Acne & Scars Endocrinology

Hello! I have been having a break out on my face for a few months now. I used to have relatively clear skin before and I couldn't find the problem that caused this breakout because I didn't make any changes to my lifestyle. I have seen a GP previously, and she gave me Clindoxyl cream - which was not very effective (I have used up half a tube). I am wondering if it is caused by my hormones because my menses have been very irregular and delayed as well (it has always been regular) and I have gained a bit of weight even though I did not change my diet or eating habits. I'm not sure what is the first step that I should take to solve this problem. If it is indeed caused by my hormones, what kind of doctors should I be seeing in Singapore? Thank you for your time!

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (3)
Hi Anon,

It is true that hormonal derangements can cause acne, irregular periods and weight gain. One common cause is polycystic ovaries (PCOS); although even thyroid hormone imbalances can cause similar problems.

Rather than speculate, I would suggest a consultation with a doctor (as acne is very complex). I would also do blood investigations to evaluate your hormone levels first and possibly imaging scans as needed. Hormone balancing is also another complex issue, as your body's hormone levels are interlinked. A doctor experienced with this is important in ensuring your hormone levels are well managed. 

For conditions such as PCOS, even though the patients are typically managed by gynecologists, the skin related derangements such as acne are routinely managed by aesthetic doctors and dermatologists.
Consult Doctor
1 523 views 0 Doctors agree 24 Feb 2018

Hi Anon,

Your guess seems right on track, and based on your symptoms you might want to be evaluated for possible polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
 

You might want to start with your general practitioner who will be able to arrange for a physical exam, some basic and diagnostic blood tests, as well as a pelvic ultrasound. In Singapore, endocrinologists and gynaecologists most commonly manage PCOS. 

If your symptoms and acne are indeed due to the above hormonal issue, management with lifestyle changes such as weight management, with or without oral contraceptive pills, can be of good use. 

Hope this helps! 

Best, 

Shane

Consult Doctor
2 578 views 0 Doctors agree 20 Feb 2018

Hi Anon,

Your symptoms do sound suggestive of PCOS, though other conditions (such as excess steroid hormone production) have to be excluded.
 
I would suggest seeing an endocrinologist or gynecologist for an evaluation. He/she will take a thorough history and do a physical examination, and depending on the findings, request for some blood tests.
 
If you do indeed have PCOS, apart from lifestyle advice, there are certain medications that can potentially help your periods, weight and skin.
Consult Doctor
1 565 views 1 Doctors agree 21 Feb 2018
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