Keke Palmer opens up about acne: polycystic ovarian syndrome has been attacking me

Recently Keke Palmer took to Instagram sans makeup and filters to share her acne journey. She said it has taken many trips to the doctor before she had to do her own research into her family’s medical history. Doctors weren’t taking her complaints seriously. Her research led her to discovering that her acne was due to hormonal imbalances caused by polycystic ovary syndrome. Below are a few excerpts from her Instagram via Entertainment Tonight:

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

“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,” Palmer wrote of her condition. “And unfortunately doctors are people and if you don’t ‘look the part’ they may not think that’s your problem. They may not even suggest it if you ‘look healthy’ whatever that means! I came to a doctor in tears once and all they offered was a measles vaccine… Exactly.”

Palmer hopes that her message will inspire others to be comfortable in their own skin.

“My skin has made me sad many nights but I do not give up on myself. I know this is not me and my body has been looking for help,” she continued. “I do not have a medical degree but I did the research and took what I learned to a doctor and that led them to a proper diagnosis.”

“The least harmful thing PCOS can bring is acne. To all the people struggling with this please know you’re not alone and that you are still so f**king fine!” Palmer wrote. “MY ACNE AINT NEVER STOPPED ME. But we don’t have to accept this. Now I can really help KEKE! And I love her so it’s ON.”

[From Entertainment Tonight]

Along with acne, PCOS can cause infertility and prolonged and infrequent periods. I am so glad that women are sharing their health stories and am reminded of Olivia Culpo being open about her painful struggles with endometriosis. These public figures are helping bring light to things which were previously secret or taboo. Especially since both Olivia and Keke have recounted stories in which doctors dismissed them. I wish Keke well. I hope she is able to get the help she needs to address PCOS as it can be a very difficult disorder to live with.

Embed from Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

14 Responses to “Keke Palmer opens up about acne: polycystic ovarian syndrome has been attacking me”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Astrid says:

    Kudos for sharing these personal Journeys

  2. OriginalLala says:

    I have PCOS, diagnosed at 19 because I suddenly developed awful acne and stopped having my period. I manage it with a vegan diet and exercise, as well as a handful of supplements (Ovasitol, zinc, Vit D, magnesium) but it’s an awful illness and puts you at risk of many awful diseases. I now have great skin and a regular period but I know many women with PCOS are not that lucky.

    hugs to my fellow cysters!

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Me too! Hugs back! My hormones are totally out of whack and I’m infertile as a result – hardly ever bleed, and when I do it’s not a proper ‘period’ as I don’t ovulate. Also get horrible cystic acne around my chin, mirroring the cysts on my ovaries.

      Appreciate anyone being open about all this stuff. Hopefully it might also encourage more research into “female issues” that are so often overlooked or ignored by doctors.

      • OriginalLala says:

        oh girl, I feel your pain!! Don’t be afraid to push your doctors for more answers and more help. I found that seeing a dietician with expertise in PCOS was very helpful in getting the right supplements – I know lots of people say supplements are “expensive pee” but when it comes to PCOS they can be very helpful because we tend to have many deficiencies.

      • Mac says:

        Based on my experience, Accutane is the only effective treatment for PCOS acne.

    • Dalloway says:

      Hugs from a fellow cyster!

      What a shitty disease it is. I was diagnosed at age 25 and its so silly because if you do not tick all of the boxes, doctors won’t believe you’re ill. Doctors were completely flummoxed that I don’t have excessive body/facial hair growth like I had to have that symptom.

      I’ve been managing it lately with diet and exercise, but the hormonal imbalances are a nightmare.

    • Lauren says:

      I got diagnosed at 19 too. My period stopped for three months, I went in for an ultrasound and the doctor just went “oh you have pco”. Opened a whole world to me.

    • TQ says:

      @OriginalLala Yep, found out only last year after many many years of symptoms that I have it too. Many male doctors had no answers, but finally a smart and sympathetic female doctor diagnosed me and put me on Ovasitol too, which has sorted me out.

    • Angel says:

      Same I also have PCOS, and recently started having acne too even thoughI never had acne in my life before even when I was a teen. It’s the only symptom with painful periods I have to deal with. Birth control pills saved my life and my face too.

  3. Lauren says:

    I have pco and it’s a bitch to deal with. I have had weight issues for almost 20 years (and my ahole family shaming me because they thought it was me being lazy). I didn’t have any acne at all until I turned 25. I’ve gotten much better at dealing with everything now. My period is luckily almost always regular, I can tell days before my period how bad the cramps will be and have always chocolate and netflix at hand for those days.

  4. Veronica S. says:

    PCOS is a miserable disease for a lot of women, so my sympathies to her. I’m glad acne is the only major symptom she’s encountered thus far (fertility, weight, excessive testosterone, etc. can also be big problems), but that still sucks on the vanity side, especially for the industry she’s in. My friend’s had it for years and always had trouble controlling her weight.

    She’s right about it being terrible to diagnose, though. Women are notoriously overlooked when it comes to medical problems, and black women are particularly at odds with the medical community for being taken seriously. Makes even routine care a pain.

  5. Cacec04 says:

    Spironolactone has been a blessing in helping me with cystic acne and hair in all the wrong places, but I still have the scars to bare from when the cystic acne plagued me. It baffles me that there are so many people who have this. There needs to be more research and focus on this disorder.

  6. MsGnomer says:

    PCOS left me feeling like my body had betrayed me, and my female testosterone levels skyrocketed. Very challenging and painful condition for me; plus there were not very informed doctors 25 years ago. Liver issues come with PCOS, so make sure you have levels tested regularly to check for liver health.