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April 2016

New Insights Into the Relationship Between the Skin and Endocrine Disorders

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(4):377-379. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4500

As dermatologists, we pride ourselves on being Sherlock Holmes in the House of Medicine, employing our keen clinical diagnostic skills as we expertly read the signs of internal disease that manifest on the skin. While much attention is paid to the dermatologic aspects of paraneoplastic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders, abnormalities of the endocrine system also deserve no less of our attention.

In this issue of JAMA Dermatology, 2 articles highlight the important role that the dermatologist plays in identifying and characterizing patients with common skin disorders who may be at risk for metabolic and androgen-mediated disease. Schmidt et al1 describe cutaneous findings and their associations with insulin resistance and hyperandrogenemia among a group of women referred to their multidisciplinary center deemed at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In a standardized fashion, they evaluated clinical and laboratory findings that distinguished women who met diagnostic criteria for PCOS as compared with those who did not within this referral population. Next, Nagpal et al2 report, to our knowledge, the largest cohort to date examining the prevalence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in postadolescent males with acne of varying severity.