Androgen-associated and androgen-independent causes of alopecia and acne in women. Literature review




androgens, testosterone, androstenedione, dihydrotestosterone, alopecia, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, acne, antimicrobial resistance


This article refers to the issues of alopecia and acne pathogenesis: anatomy of hair and sebaceous glands, biological factors affecting the stages of hair development and function of sebaceous glands. Alopecia is divided into two large groups: scaring and non-scaring alopecia, the later is represented by alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and female pattern hair loss/androgenetic alopecia (FPHL/AGA). Before starting the search for systemic causes it is necessary to predetermine the type of alopecia on the basis of medical history and external manifestations. FPHL /AGA as a most common form of alopecia can often coexist with another common pathology – telogen effluvium, this fact determines therapeutic approaches and their results.

Main pathogenetic mechanisms, approaches to differential diagnostics and treatment of the main specified types of non-scarring alopecia are reviewed. FPHL/AGA is a main type of alopecia which is often referred to gynecologists/endocrinologists. It is now regarded a multifactorial pathology with the involvement of a genetic component, androgen receptor gene expression, dihydrotestosterone synthesis and local low grade inflammation specifics. FPHL/AGA can be with and without hyperandrogenism, in both cases it can be accompanied by an increased risk of metabolic syndrome. In case of FPHL/AGA with hyperandrogenism the success of treatment depends on the consistent coordinated work of gynecologist/endocrinologist and dermatologist/trichologist, which allows combining systemic and local therapy in a timely manner.

Also contemporary views on the acne pathogenesis are reviewed. Given the complex nature of acne its therapy is also complex and stepwise. According to current clinical guidelines and recent studies of the microbial component of acne pathogenesis the following conclusions are formulated. Patients with acne require assessment of androgen status, determination of the hyperandrogenism source, including evaluation of tissue androgens; phenotype of the syndrome and cardio-metabolic risks should be determined in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome; it is advisable to determine antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogens isolated from the inflamed pilosebaceous unit if acne form requires the local or systemic antibacterial therapy.

Author Biographies

І. В. Сідорова, “DILA”, Kyiv

Medical director of medical laboratory

Т. М. Тутченко, SI “O.M. Lukyanova IPOG of the NAMS of Ukraine” SSI “CIMT of the NAS of Ukraine» DILA medical laboratory, Kyiv

PhD, researcher at the Department of Endocrine Gynecology

Department of Reproductive Health

Scientific consultant

О. А. Бурка, A.A. Bogomolets National Medical University DILA medical laboratory, Kyiv

PhD, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology No. 1

Scientific consultant

Л. М. Семенюк, Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Center for Endocrine Surgery, Transplantation of Endocrine Organs and Tissues of the MoH of Ukraine, Kyiv

MD, assosiate professor, Head of the Department of reproductive medicine and surgery

I. Г. Ноговська, P.L. Shupik NMAPE “Gynecology center ‘Nadiya’” LLC, Kyiv

Graduate student at the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology

Obstetrician gynecologist

Л. В. Дем’яненко, Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Center for Endocrine Surgery, Transplantation of Endocrine Organs and Tissues of the MoH of Ukraine, Kyiv

PhD, senior researcher at the Department of reproductive medicine and surgery


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How to Cite

Сідорова, І. В., Тутченко, Т. М., Бурка, О. А., Семенюк, Л. М., Ноговська I. Г., & Дем’яненко, Л. В. (2020). Androgen-associated and androgen-independent causes of alopecia and acne in women. Literature review. REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY, (52), 39–48.



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