Women with isolated postadolescent severe acne do not have increased levels of adrenal androgens, either basally or in response to corticotropin stimulation, reported Dr. N. Cinar of Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and colleagues. However, women with severe acne have secretion patterns of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone similar to those of polycystic ovary syndrome patients, suggesting the two may have an unexplored connection.

To investigate the role of androgens in the pathogenesis of acne, the researchers compared 32 women with postadolescent severe acne and 32 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with 32 age- and body mass index–matched healthy controls (aged 17-34 years; BMI, 20.8 ± 1.9 kg/m2). They found basal testosterone, free androgen index, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate levels for androstenedione (used as metrics for determining adrenocortical production) were significantly higher in the PCOS group than in the women with acne and the controls (P < .05 for all).

In addition, women with PCOS and those with severe acne had significantly and similarly higher area under the curve values of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone, compared with controls (P < .05), the investigators noted.

Read the entire article here: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, (2015;29: 875-880 ([ doi:10.1111/jdv.12696 ]).