In a group of thirtyseven women who had been suffering from acne during adolescence and spontaneously healed within the 21st year of age, the plasma levels of nine sex hormones were evaluated during three different phases of the disease, i.e. the florid phase, the resolutive phase and the one following complete healing. During the florid phase the patients showed significantly lower oestradiol and progesterone levels compared to control subjects: such differences reduced during the following phase and disappeared almost completely after healing. Significant differences in prolactin, total testosterone, free testosterone, adrostenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, FSH LH and LH plasma levels were not observed between patients and controls. The ratios obtained dividing the values of total testosterone and androstenedione by the ones of progesterone and oestradiol showed that, in acne patients, the hormonal balances deviated significantly in favour of androgens, exclusively during the florid phase of the disease. We have therefore hypothesized that, in the woman, adolescent self healing acne is almost never influenced by an increase of circulating androgens, but it is often related to a reduction in oestradiol and/or progesterone production that is responsible for a transitory condition of relative hyperandrogenism.
Sbano E, Altamura V, Galasso F, Capilungo C