Clinical, Biochemical, and Hormonal Associations in Female Patients with Acne: A Study and Literature Review

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017 Oct;10(10):18-24. Epub 2017 Oct 1.


Female acne is often associated with clinical signs of hyperandrogenism or metabolic syndrome. Various hormonal and biochemical factors as well as Vitamin D deficiency play a role in the etiopathogenesis of acne, and it is important to be able to detect the altered marker(s) indicative of certain abnormalities in order to diagnose and treat the cause. However, interpretation of these markers can be difficult, as there is ambiguity as to what is considered "normal" or "abnormal." The aim of this study was to explore the associations that acne might have with certain clinical, hormonal, and biological factors among female patients with acne. Additionally, the available literature was reviewed in order to determine the prevalence of these associations, discussion of which is provided. The author's investigations reveal a very high prevalence of abnormal metabolic and hormonal statuses among women with acne, indicating the need for dermatologists to maintain a high index of suspician for other disorders, especially metabolic disorders (and in particular, polycystic ovary syndrome), when treating female patients with acne.

Keywords: Female acne; PCOS; clinical investigation; hormone; insulin; metabolic disorder; polycystic ovary syndrome.