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Pituitary function and DHEA-S in male acne and DHEA-S, prolactin and cortisol before and after oral contraceptive treatment in female acne

Pituitary function and DHEA-S in male acne and DHEA-S, prolactin and cortisol before and after oral contraceptive treatment in female acne

Acta Dermato-Venereologica 66(3): 225-230

This study investigated pituitary function in male acne patients and serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and other biochemical parameters in male acne patients and in female acne patients before and after oral contraceptive (OC) treatment. Among males, basal and stimulated prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were similar among acne cases and controls; however, stimulated LH levels were 60% higher among cases and SHBG levels were 60% higher among cases and SHBG levels were statistically higher. The 33 female acne patients were treated for 6 months with an OC containing 0.03 mg ethinyl estradiol plus 0.15 mg levonorgestrel or 0.15 desogestrel. After 6 months, a 15% and a 30% decrease, respectively, was observed in DHEA-S levels in the 2 groups. Serum total cortisol increased by 75-100% and free testosterone fell by 30-40% in both groups, while SHBG elevated 250% in the desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol group and 30% in the levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol group. Although acne improved in both groups, the improvement was greatest among cases receiving a desogestrel-containing OC. These findings suggest that low SHBG and elevated DHEA-S are the hormonic alterations most often seen in cases of severe acne, although pretreatment DHEA-S levels did not correlate with the severity of the acne. It is concluded that OCs improve acne by increasing SHBG and decreasing DHEA-S levels.

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Accession: 040985216

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PMID: 2426899

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