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November 1957

Experimental Production of Acne by Progesterone

Author Affiliations

Med. Sc.D., Baltimore; Gainesville, Fla.

From the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins Medical School and Hospital.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;76(5):652-658. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550230118017

There is general recognition today that there may be many factors in the etiology of acne vulgaris. Thus there are hereditary, nutritional, climatic, emotional, bacterial, and, particularly, endocrinal influences. Sebaceous glands, relatively small during childhood, start to grow rapidly with the onset of puberty. At the same time there is a considerable increase in the amount of sebum excreted to the skin surface. This sebaceous hyperfunction is the cause of seborrhea in adolescence and is considered to be a major component of acne vulgaris.1

In males the role of testicular androgens in sebaceous hyperfunction has long been recognized.2 In females, adrenal androgens have been held responsible for pubertal seborrhea, but recent studies have called attention to the part played here by another hormone. Progesterone, the active principle produced by the corpus luteum, has been shown to have the same effects as testosterone in causing