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Is There A Relationship Between Men, Acne and Metabolic Syndrome?

Acne is linked to androgens that increase the size of sebaceous glands, increase sebum production, and stimulate keratinocyte proliferation. During puberty, insulin resistance occurs physiologically, which in turn leads to increased androgens. Insulin resistance plays a pivotal role in the cluster of metabolic abnormalities that are components of the metabolic syndrome. For women, metabolic syndrome forms an integral part of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS also frequently present with acne. The association between insulin resistance and acne has not been studied as much in men. A recent cross-sectional study published in JAMA Dermatology investigated the prevalence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in in male patients 20 years or older with acne. This investigation was prompted by the knowledge that for women, insulin resistance may be causal for development of acne.

The authors found that, in fact, postadolescent male patients with acne have a higher prevalence of insulin resistance. In addition, body weight tends to be higher in those with more severe grades of acne. In the study, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with acne was more than twice the prevalence in the same age group as observed in previous studies. However, the prevalence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome did not significantly vary with acne severity. Nonetheless, acne in young men may be a sign of insulin resistance. Since insulin resistance is a stage of prediabetes, these patients should be followed up for a prolonged time.

Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Posted: May 9, 2016

Source: JAMA Dermatology
Adapted from the original article.

[Image: Pixabay / fsHH]

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