In order to evaluate the hormonal milieu in young men with severe acne, we measured serum estradiol (E2), total testosterone (T), free testosterone (FT), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) levels in sixteen male patients aged 20-30 years with severe acne, including twelve cases of nodular-cystic acne, and in seventeen age-matched normal controls. There were no significant differences in the serum levels of T, FT, DHT, DHEA-S, or SHBG between the patients and the controls, but serum E2 was significantly higher in the patient population. Thus, the hemodynamics of serum androgens in male patients with acne do not seem to differ significantly from that of normal controls. Elevated E2 levels might affect the inflammatory response of acne vulgaris through the release of thymic hormones, as reported in the literature.
Aizawa H, Niimura M