Beauty Trends

Keke Palmer Reveals Cystic Acne Breakouts Caused by PCOS

To us regular folk, it can be easy to fall under the assumption that every celebrity has enough money to simply pay for flawless skin with all the procedures and treatments they might have access to — but Keke Palmer just reminded us that couldn’t be further from the truth. On December 1, the actor posted a slideshow of makeup-free selfies to Instagram and revealed that she’s been experiencing severe acne breakouts due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

“For some of you this may be TMI, but for me my platform has always been used for things much greater than me. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome has been attacking me from the inside out my entire life and I had no idea,” she writes in her post caption. “My acne has been so bad that people in my field offered to pay for me to get it fixed.” 

As she regales, she’s tried every acne “solution” that’s out there — Accutane, (a.k.a. isotretinoin, a retinoid you ingest), eating certain diets, drinking lots of water — to no relief. She didn’t understand why until she realized that PCOS could be the cause.

“It took ME taking a personal look into my family that has a history of diabetes and obesity, to understand what was ACTUALLY happening with me. And unfortunately doctors are people and if you don’t ‘look the part’ they may not think that’s your problem,” she continues. “They may not even suggest it if you ‘look healthy’ whatever that means!”

PCOS is a hormonal disorder most common among people who have ovaries and are of reproductive age. Research has yet to determine its cause, but according to the Mayo Clinic, certain genes and excess insulin may play a role, hence Palmer’s reference to her family’s history with diabetes. Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara explains how and why it causes such severe acne breakouts.

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