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, 16 (6), 431-41

Current Concepts in Aesthetic Endocrinology

  • PMID: 12626029

Current Concepts in Aesthetic Endocrinology

C J Gruber et al. Gynecol Endocrinol.


The extragenital effects of ovarian steroids are relevant to the metabolism of skin and hair, the changes in body composition and the alterations of the subcutaneous fat distribution throughout life. When ovarian steroids become deficient or are produced in excess, different problems may arise in these tissues and some of these problems, i.e., obesity and cellulite, display gender-specific components. Therefore, a new field in endocrine research known as aesthetic endocrinology is gaining more interest. Because sex steroids are small molecules they can be transported into the skin by topical application when properly formulated. This possibility is used in aesthetic endocrinology in order to achieve local effects but to avoid systemic reactions. After reviewing the current data it collectively seems legitimate to recommend estrogens, either orally or topically, in order to counteract the aging of the skin after menopause. Although a reconstitution of juvenile skin cannot be achieved through this method, a slowing in the skin aging process seems a reasonable expectation. In contrast, the successful treatment of hair loss in women is only confirmed for the application of the non-hormonal compound minoxidil. Apart from the difficult problem of hirsutism, acne and changes in body composition offer promising therapeutical options for endocrinological methods.

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