After Keke Palmer learned Polycystic ovarian syndrome had been ‘attacking me from the inside,’ she confidently shared a picture of her acne as a message of encouragement for others ‘struggling’ with the disorder.
“For some of you, this may be TMI, but for me, my platform has always been used for things much greater than me,” began Keke Palmer at the start of the lengthy Instagram post she shared on Dec. 1. The singer and Hustlers star revealed that she had been diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder common among women, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe acne is one of the disorder’s symptoms, and Keke, 27, shared a picture of her face, free of makeup but covered in blemishes. “My acne has been so bad that people in my field offered to pay for me to get it fixed.”
“I tried EVERYTHING,” continued Keke. She said she changed her diet (“I ate all the ‘right things’) and underwent acne treatment to no avail. “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. 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.”
“I’m posting this to say that it’s okay and we can help ourselves,” continued Keke. “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. 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. I’m not saying trust web MD for everything haha, but what I am saying is no one can help us as we can help ourselves.”
Keke added that she wasn’t sharing this post to garner any sympathy or pity. “The least harmful thing [Polycystic Ovary Syndrome] can bring is acne,” she wrote. The cause of the disorder, according to the Mayo Clinic, is unknown. Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, elevated levels of male hormones called androgen (which results in excess facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and acne), and polycystic ovaries, which would result in the ovaries failing to function properly. PCOS could lead to infertility, miscarriages, sleep apnea, and a variety of complications. While there isn’t a “cure,” there are ways to treat the disorder through medication and lifestyle changes.
“To all the people struggling with this, please know you’re not alone and that you are still so f-cking fine!” added Keke. “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. Pray for me on this journey, and I will pray for you too. I’m not afraid to show myself to the world, and you shouldn’t be either.