Endocrine disorders and hormonal therapy for adolescent acne

Henry L. Nguyen, Megha M. Tollefson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Acne vulgaris is a global disease with increasing prevalence in adolescents. It has a profound impact on their quality of life, especially when endocrine disorders are also involved. Recent concerns regarding antibiotic stewardship, failures with antibiotic usage, and the development of antibiotic-resistant Propionibacterium acnes have led clinicians to consider other therapeutic options for acne treatment. The present review explores hormonal therapies for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Recent findings There are now four different combined oral contraceptive pills that are FDA approved for the treatment of acne since its first introduction in 1960. Recent literature has provided more information on the efficacy of different generations of combined oral contraceptive pills, their side-effects, and cancer risks. Furthermore, spironolactone has been gaining wider use among dermatologists in adolescents with endocrine dysfunction. New diagnostic guidelines and treatment recommendations have also been suggested. Summary Hormonal therapies are effective and well tolerated options for the treatment of acne vulgaris in adolescents with and without endocrine disorders. They can be used as monotherapy or in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoic acid, or antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-465
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • PCOS
  • acne vulgaris
  • combined oral contraceptive pills
  • hormonal acne treatment
  • spironolactones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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