Hormone therapy in acne.Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 May-Jun; 79(3):322-37.IJ
Underlying hormone imbalances may render acne unresponsive to conventional therapy. Relevant investigations followed by initiation of hormonal therapy in combination with regular anti-acne therapy may be necessary if signs of hyperandrogenism are present. In addition to other factors, androgen-stimulated sebum production plays an important role in the pathophysiology of acne in women. Sebum production is also regulated by other hormones, including estrogens, growth hormone, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, glucocorticoids, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and melanocortins. Hormonal therapy may also be beneficial in female acne patients with normal serum androgen levels. An understanding of the sebaceous gland and the hormonal influences in the pathogenesis of acne would be essential for optimizing hormonal therapy. Sebocytes form the sebaceous gland. Human sebocytes express a multitude of receptors, including receptors for peptide hormones, neurotransmitters and the receptors for steroid and thyroid hormones. Various hormones and mediators acting through the sebocyte receptors play a role in the orchestration of pathogenetic lesions of acne. Thus, the goal of hormonal treatment is a reduction in sebum production. This review shall focus on hormonal influences in the elicitation of acne via the sebocyte receptors, pathways of cutaneous androgen metabolism, various clinical scenarios and syndromes associated with acne, and the available therapeutic armamentarium of hormones and drugs having hormone-like actions in the treatment of acne.