[Acne vulgaris. The role of hormones]

Hautarzt. 2010 Feb;61(2):107-8, 110-4. doi: 10.1007/s00105-009-1830-1.
[Article in German]


Peripherally active androgens control cellular functions by binding to androgen receptors. Follicular keratinocytes and sebocytes are target cells for androgens, which, directly or indirectly, stimulate keratinocyte proliferation and the volume of sebaceous glands as well as the sebum secretion rate. Acne often begins with the adrenarche, namely with the up- regulation of adrenal synthesis of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, a hormone that is upstream to testosterone. The majority of acne patients exhibit normal levels of circulating androgens, while sebaceous glands from acne regions exhibit a stronger sensitivity to androgens than the sebaceous glands from other parts of the body. Hormone-like active lipids, hormones in diet and neuropeptides may also play a role in the development of acne lesions. The target of antiandrogen treatment of the skin is mainly the sebaceous gland and the primary effect is sebostasis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / etiology*
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acne Vulgaris / physiopathology*
  • Dermatitis / etiology*
  • Dermatitis / pathology
  • Dermatitis / physiopathology*
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / physiopathology*


  • Hormones