What Your Skin Can Tell You About Your Health

Pale complexion? Sudden breakouts? Learn what causes common skin concerns -- and what to do (10 Photos)

Marissa Capodanno on Feb 19, 2012 at 12:04PM

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Acne Breakouts

Source: Getty Images/Jose Luis Pelaez Inc

Acne is a common complaint of adults as well as young people, but sudden, unsightly outbreaks can also signal polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). A disorder in which the ovaries produce an imbalance of sex hormones, the condition can also cause weight gain, excessive facial hair and infrequent or prolonged periods, says Dr. Day. Though the exact cause of PCOS is not known, the resulting acne can be treated. Dr. Day recommends skin cleansers that contain salicylic acid to slough off pore-clogging dead skin cells, excess oil, and other buildup. Suspect you're suffering from PCOS? To target an underlying hormonal issue, see your gynecologist for testing.

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