Is There a Link between PCOS and Psoriasis?

Are you troubled by that annoying and embarrassing condition called psoriasis?

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy recently published an article associating psoriasis with PCOS. This may be the first study on this topic.

They analyzed the presence of polycystic ovary syndrome in 51 patients with psoriasis compared to 102 similar people who did not have psoriasis.

They found that 47% of the women who had psoriasis also had polycystic ovary syndrome. Only 11.7% of the non-psoriasis group had PCOS.

Psoriasis pic

Psoriasis has also been linked with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, all of which are features often associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Could it be that similar forces are causing both disorders? For example, both disorders appear to involve chronic inflammation and a disturbed immune system.

I think it's time we shift away from regarding polycystic ovarian disease as solely an isolated problem in your ovaries. From what I've seen, it's more of a systemic disorder with lots of connections to other chronic diseases and conditions.

By the way, don’t confuse psoriasis with acanthosis nigricans, which is another skin disorder that about 5% of women with P C O S have. The coloration and the distribution of the two skin disorders is different.

Acanthosis Nigricans pic
Acanthosis Nigricans

Any discoloration of your skin, whether large or small, should be checked out by a dermatologist. Your skin is a major organ of your body, every bit as important as your liver, ovaries, thyroid, etc.

Source: Moro F et al, Psoriatic patients have an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome: results of a cross-sectional analysis. Fertil Steril. 2012 Nov 16. [Epub ahead of print]

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