Thyroid problems linked to adult acne in women
MedWire News: Researchers have found that adult women with acne are more likely than their peers without acne to develop thyroid autoimmunity, whereby the immune system attacks and damages the thyroid.
They speculate that there may be an inflammatory process that is common to both conditions.
"Although acne has traditionally been viewed as predominantly affecting adolescents, a growing body of literature during the last 10 years suggests that an increasing number of patients suffer from acne after adolescence," T Vergou, from Athens University School of Medicine in Greece, and colleagues comment.
Also, women appear to be affected at higher rates than men, they add.
Thyroid function has been suggested to play a role in the development of adult acne, so to investigate, the researchers looked for evidence of thyroid disorder in 107 adult women with post-adolescent acne and 60 women without acne.
They assessed blood samples from the women for levels of thyroid hormones and antibodies, as well as performing thyroid ultrasound.
The findings showed that a higher percentage of women with than without post-adolescent acne tested positive for elevated levels of antithyroglobulin antibodies, at 25% versus 8%, and these women were nearly four times as likely to have high levels as women without post-adolescent acne.
Thyroglobulin is a protein produced by the thyroid gland, and elevated levels are indicative of thyroid autoimmunity, although further tests showed no difference in thyroid function between women with and without post-adolescent acne.
The researchers conclude in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: "It is likely that thyroid autoimmunity might be more frequent in the adult acne patients and this should be kept in mind when screening adult women with acne."
MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011
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