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October 1982

Commentary: Androgen Effects on Human Sebaceous Glands

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology and Evans Memorial Department of Clinical Research, University Hospital, Boston University Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(10):803-804. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650220107014

The report by Rony and Zakon1 that the parenteral administration of testosterone to prepubertal boys resulted in an increase in the number and size of sebaceous glands in the skin was not only important but was timely as well. Just two years earlier, Hamilton2 had published his landmark studies on the relationship between androgens and acne, in which he was able to induce, in some patients, the formation of acne lesions from testosterone treatment of castrated males, where no acne had been present before and which disappeared when the treatments were stopped. The findings of Rony and Zakon not only enforced the generally held belief that the sebaceous gland was important in the pathogenesis of acne but now also strongly suggested that it was the mechanistic link between androgens and acne.

Despite this promising beginning, almost two decades would elapse before further and more detailed studies were performed

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