Gender-linked differences in human skin

J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Sep;55(3):144-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2009.06.001. Epub 2009 Jul 1.


Background: The physiology of body organs can be affected by gender. Skin and skin appendages are influenced by sex hormones.

Objective: This review work has been undertaken to point out the most conspicuous physiological differences observed between men's and women's skin.

Methods: The literature has been searched and relevant results have been gathered.

Results: Men's and women's skins differ in hormone metabolism, hair growth, sweat rate, sebum production, surface pH, fat accumulation, serum leptins, etc. Examples of differences in the proneness to cutaneous diseases and skin cancer are quoted.

Conclusion: The knowledge of gender-linked cutaneous differences might help in preparing male-specific products for more appropriate dermatological treatments or cosmetic interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / physiology
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / physiology*
  • Hair / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sebaceous Glands / physiology*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin*
  • Sweat Glands / physiology*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Collagen