Dark inner thighs, or skin discoloration around the groin and pubic area, are normal and relatively common.
In some cases, however, dark inner thighs may occur alongside symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and may cause distress or discomfort or make someone self-conscious.
If you’re seeing thickened, dark skin in several areas of your body, like your inner thighs, underarms, breasts, and the back of your neck, you may be dealing with a condition medically known as “Acanthosis Nigricans.”
This condition is common among women with PCOS (although not exclusive to those with PCOS)—and it’s most commonly described as skin discoloration that commonly occurs in skin folds.
Those of us with PCOS are unfortunately all too familiar with the feeling of dread that may accompany looking at the changes in our bodies, especially if we’re newly diagnosed.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of, however.
Although dealing with PCOS-related skin issues like acne, skin tags, and hirsutism (excess hair growth) can often feel frustrating, know that there are ways to remedy these issues.
Most importantly, you’re not alone—thousands of “cysters” around the world are dealing with PCOS and finding ways to triumph over their unique symptoms.
You can, too!
With the right PCOS treatment plan, not only can you address pesky skin issues like acne and discoloration, but also kick other symptoms to the curb and naturally support your body.
In this blog, we’re going on a deep dive into why exactly PCOS dark inner thighs happen and what you can do to address this.
Yes, but not always.
Having dark, velvety, and otherwise thicker skin in creases around the thighs is a manifestation of Acanthosis Nigricans, a skin condition closely associated with insulin resistance.
For this reason, it’s common in cases of insulin-resistant PCOS, especially since insulin stimulates skin cells and causes them to overgrow.
Patients with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes may also have this condition, so it’s not exclusive to PCOS—but may occur among those with PCOS and insulin resistance.
Aside from the inner thighs, skin discoloration may also occur around the following body parts:
According to research, high levels of insulin, as well as high androgens, may cause skin patches to occur in women with PCOS.
The good news is that these skin patches are reversible once the underlying causes have been successfully addressed.
As previously mentioned, skin discoloration in the inner thighs and other body parts is not automatically due to PCOS.
Other things may also cause it, such as:
If you’re worried that your darker inner thighs may be a sign of PCOS but have yet to consult a medical professional, it may be helpful to understand how other PCOS symptoms may manifest:
As discussed earlier, PCOS may cause ovulation issues and lead to longer cycles.
This often means that you have irregular (not monthly) periods or have longer cycles lasting more than 35 days.
The fine hairs on the upper lip, chin, abdomen, breast, lower belly, lower back, and inner thighs are sensitive to hormones.
For this reason, women with PCOS may find that the usually fine hairs may change into longer, coarser, and darker hairs that grow faster due to high levels of testosterone.
Women with PCOS may notice that their skin is oilier, and their acne tends to recur in areas like the jaw, chin, and upper neck—areas often associated with hormonal acne.
PCOS acne lesions may also be deeper, larger, and more difficult to resolve, especially around menstrual periods.
The hair follicles in the scalp are also sensitive to hormones, but instead of growing coarser, the hair tends to fall out.
This happens when the follicles die as testosterone is converted into DHT, a more potent form of the male hormone.
There’s a common misconception that having PCOS automatically means you’re infertile.
This is incorrect.
Some women do have fertility issues due to irregular ovulation patterns and unmanaged PCOS symptoms, though.
However, managing your symptoms and supporting your fertility can definitely raise your chances of falling pregnant, even with PCOS.
Difficulty losing weight is perhaps one of the most frustrating PCOS symptoms, but it’s essential to know that this is usually tied to insulin resistance.
A lot of us have been told to simply exercise more and lose weight to manage PCOS—as if it’s the easiest thing to do especially with PCOS.
However, the good news is that once you learn how to manage your insulin resistance through healthy habits and supplementation, losing weight is possible.
To get a head start on managing PCOS symptoms like darker inner thighs, here are a few key areas of wellness that you can focus on:
You’ll find that good diet and nutrition are crucial when looking to heal your PCOS root cause, and it often starts with learning how to eat the right way.
What you eat for breakfast, for instance, can change how your blood sugar levels react for the whole day!
This is why typical breakfast foods like cereals and pastries won’t cut it for someone with PCOS.
You might notice that you find yourself starving or low in energy soon after, and this is because high carbohydrate meals cause our blood sugar to become unstable.
Try employing the “PCOS Repair Breakfast” (it’s part of the PCOS Repair Protocol), which entails having at least 30 grams of protein and non-starchy vegetables (kale, cauliflower, spinach, or zucchini) instead of the usual high-carb breakfast fare.
Additionally, the PCOS Plate Method is also a great way to get everything you need each time you eat lunch or dinner:
The best exercise when you have PCOS is the right exercise for your root cause and also something that you enjoy enough to stay consistent with!
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to move your body, but finding the right exercise plan can improve your insulin resistance, lower stress hormones, and reduce inflammation.
According to experts, at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly, or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week—is ideal for PCOS weight management.
The right supplements for your PCOS type can also significantly improve your symptoms and help you feel like your best self again.
Magnesium, for example, has been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and improve hormone balance, while Omega-3 acts as a natural anti-inflammatory supplement that can improve insulin resistance.
Inositol can work wonders, too, especially in the correct ratio (40:1) to reduce acne lesions and support insulin resistance.
Supplements help critical bodily functions that impact PCOS, like fat metabolism, insulin resistance, and insulin signaling.
At Nourished Natural Health, our curated range of high-quality supplements is a product of thousands of hours of research—so you can rest assured you’re getting scientifically proven supplements to help support your health.
We only use the best quality ingredients, with each supplement formulated to help you heal your PCOS symptoms and root causes.
Nourished Natural Health’s PCOS Supplements for Clear Skin & Healthy Hair are your starting points on your way to managing your symptoms and enjoying clear, healthy skin:
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