hello, I am also an african american woman who is 27 and had symptoms of pcos since i was 14. I recently went to the doctor and they just told me that my testosterone levels werent high enough. but when i looked up pcos, i have every symptom including high blood pressure (extremely high) and within the last month, hair loss at the crown of my head. My chin and neck are scarred from plucking and pulling and im just at my wits end with this. I went to sallys and got a bottle of "skin tight" and i notice that it minimized the ingrown hair bumps which makes my skin feel and look ALOT smoother and i am looking for something for the hyperpigmentation. i understand what you have and been so frustrated with it because im the only one i know amongst my friends who have it. i hate looking in the mirror and my face is clear but my chin and neck are atrocious! a real confidence killer. let me know any pointers i can use.
Thanks for responding. I thought that I was a lonely soldier out here. PCOS is funny because you don't have to have every sign or symptom. My battle with hirsutism has been going on for a long time now and plucking and shaving has been my only uses. I tried TendSkin from Sephora but didn't notice a difference and I had a prescription for Vaniqua but I only used one tube. It's expensive and insurance doesn't pay for it.
I've seen Skin Tight but I thought it wouldn't work so I didn't buy it. My dermatologist told me that plucking is really bad because it causes ingrown hairs which causes the hyperpigmentation. It's a habit that's hard to break because I've been doing since I was 15.
It seem as if a dermatologist can help with the hyperpigmentation. I'm scheduling an appointment with mine to see if there are any available creams to lighten the dark spots and also to get another prescription of Vaniqua. Birth control pills with spironolactone can decrease hair growth, but I don't do well with synthetic hormones, so that option is out. My endocronologist told me that nothing he can give me will completely take the hair away. He talked about several options. Birth control and spironolactone, metformin, vaniqua and exercise. Losing a little weight has been shown to decrease hirsutism, but when I was thinner I had hirsutism just not as much.
This is an ongoing problem and I think the only options that will completely remove the hair is electrolysis and laser, both of which are expensive, and the laser hair removal can be tricky with dark skin.
I completely understand how you feel and I'm here for you when you get frustrated. If you learn anything let me know and I'll do the same.
hello. i am new to this site n it makes me feel better to kno that there are others out here wit the same problems. i am 24 and jus like you and others i have PCOS. i believe it started at 17. i had developed a cyst on my left ovary due to stress. i also have hair growing on my chest, chin, and face. and to top it off i have soo much free testosterone n not enough estrogen that my female features don't really show too much like small breast. now me n my fiance' are ready to concieve but because of my cyst n PCOS it is very difficult for us. i really don't kno of any cures but i kno prayer helps. it also help to kno that we are not alone out here. do you have any children at all. if i could just have me one, i will be happy.
god bless in ur quest....
Hello, I wanted you to know that it is possible for you to have children if you have PCOS. I have two children. What makes it difficult for you to conceive? Is your menstruation regular and how big is the cyst in your ovary? I don't know if you have regular contact with your physician regarding this concern of your's because you should. A lot of women that have problems conceiving take the drug metformin and this seems to help.
I'm a little older than you (12 years older) but I've been dealing with excessive hair since I was 13. It started on my chest and then went to my neck and stomach and a little on my chin. I've become pretty good concealing it with shaving, plucking (which is bad for your skin and causes ingrown hairs) and then applying makeup over the hyperpigmentation. It's still extremely aggravating and it seems so masculine. I'm using the cream Vaniqua to see if this will decrease the hair and I've considered taking metformin (this drug apparently helps with hirsutism also) but I'm still thinking about that.
So, don't worry just arm yourself with the most information you can and become extremely active in whatever quest you may have. I also wanted you to know that I have elevated free testosterone but my total testosterone is normal. I also smaller breasts but I do have children and I also breast feed both of my children (my daughter for almost two years.) LOL! Yeah I know that's a long time....she had teeth too:-). Good luck and remember to pray and DON'T be passive in your search for health and children.
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS. I am not African American, I am of Sicilian decent. I also have had problems with hursutism. I had something called laser hair removal on my face to remove upper lip hair, chin, neck and "sideburn" hair. It is really very effective and permanently removes hair as the laser kills the hair's root. You'll probably always have some hairs because you can grow new ones at any time in your life but it kills the hairs that are there. When I had my first rounds of laser hair removal I had to stay completely out of the sun because it was only for people with lighter skin because the laser targets the dark hair. I have olive skin so I had to really let myself get pale. However, in recent years the technology has improved and they now have lasers that will work on people with darker skin. So the last time I they could use it on my skin even though it was darker. I would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling with excess hair. While I still pluck a few hairs each day it had greatly improved my quality of life and my skin. It really got rid of the bulk of my hair. If I had more money I would go back for more treatments. It is costly but in my opinion having some treatments is definitely worth the quality of life. I would recommend searching for a place near you that does it but make sure they have the type of laser that can treat darker skin. Also make sure you go some place reputable and not just some random salon. Many doctors offices actually offer the service now so that is one option - your doctor may actually know someone. Good luck and don't get discouraged! I just had to tell you about the laser hair removal though because it's really improved my appearance and quality of life because now I don't spend so much time managing excess hair or feeling self-conscious.
My cousin and I have the hair problems although hers is worse and since she started electrolysis she has no issues... I've had laser hair removal in the past. It was the best and the worst thing I could do. The hair was gone for like 3mos...but it was extremely painful because the pigment in my skin is darker.. I literally couldn't close my legs for 3 day! Yes I was ice packed down. But the hair went away. You have to do sessions and it takes at least 3 to inhibit the hair growth. Make sure someone who is familiar with African American and lasers. It is also a little pricey 300 per session but hey whatever works. Just be consistent with whatever.
Thanks a lot for responding. I've thought about and researched laser hair removal. I want to do it but the cost of it has stopped me from getting it done. I'm going to save so that I can eventually, because it's extremely frustrating shaving and plucking.
Thanks for the advice. I've seen information about darker skin being harder to treat and having possible skin discoloration from the laser, so it's important to seek out a professional that understands darker skin and has experience treating it. This is a frustrating problem but I'm going to save so that I can have it done.
Coco, as well as all of the other ladies, I know that it is not easy to deal with this situation and the pressure that society puts on you.....On the other side of the coin, there are lots of people, men and women, who will recognize your beauty and value as a person instead of judging your appearance just because you happen to be hirsute.....I am sorry if people look at you strangely or put you down, but that does not make you an unattractive woman.....It is strength of character and personality that will define you....
Hang in there!
I was recently diagnosed with PCOS, but have had issues with acne and facial/body hair for the last few years. In the last 8 months my skin issues have worsen.I'm currently threading once a week on my neck, under my chin and upper lip. It helps slow the growth of my hair but I still have regrowth weekly. I used to have clear skin and no facial hair so this has been a tough issue to deal with. When at work or out people stare at my face and neck when they talk to me and its so embarassing. I'm so self concious of my appearence. Going out without makeup isn't an option anymore, unless I'm at the gym. Right now I'm using derma e skinbiotics treament creme and skin lighten creme. I've been using both cremes for about 3 weeks to help with the acne and dark marks. It helps to keep my skin smooth and my breakouts are less. Has anyone had negative side effects using birth control pills or stronger hormonal pills to deal with acne and hair growth? Also, what prescribed medications are people using for the hair? Any success with skin lighteners that don't use hydroquoine to help with dark marks? The products I currently use are all natural from the heath food store. Its great to have a forum to finally talk to people who can relate.
Thanks, I look forward to hearing from everyone.
I'm Jewish, and I'm told that my hirsuitism is caused by a genetic disease common in semetic and african peoples. I'm on Spironolactone, which has softened my hair, and it has slowed down the hair growth, some places my hair has gone, but this process takes months of taking the med (+6months) to see any difference. I still get hair on my chin, but most of my hirsuitism has been on my stomach, thighs and legs. I'm down to shaving every other day now, sometimes I can go 3 days. I was shaving twice a day in the summer before. I'm too old to go on the pill, but I think this has worked better!
Hi, I am writing an article about PCOS in African American women. If you would be interested in contributing your experiences, please send me an email at ***@****