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April 1957

The Influence of Irradiation of the Pituitary Gland on Acne

Author Affiliations

Reading, Pa.

From the Departments of Dermatology and Radiology of The Reading Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(4):502-508. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550160028003

Although acne is one of the commonest skin diseases, its pathogenesis is uncertain and confused by much conflicting evidence. Not only are the etiologic factors obscure, but there is poor understanding of the mode of action of one of the most useful agents in the management of acne, namely, roentgen rays. The favorable results obtained by this modality have been variously ascribed to decreased hyperkeratosis at the follicular orifices, to a depression of follicular inflammation with absorption of the inflammatory exudate, and to decreased sebaceous secretion. Our present studies introduce another possible factor, the effect of roentgen rays on the pituitary gland and its surrounding structures.

The work of several investigators many years ago suggested that the effect of x-rays on acne may be due to factors other than their effect on the skin treated. In 1933, Niles,1 in an attempt to prove that