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Intrinsic skin aging represents the biological clock of the skin cells per se and reflects the reduction processes that are common in internal organs. The reduced secretion of the pituitary, adrenal glands, and the gonads contributes to characteristic aging-associated body and skin phenotypes as well as behavior patterns. Our knowledge of whether there is a direct or indirect connection between hormonal deficiency and skin aging still remains limited. In females, serum levels of 17β-estradiol, dehydroepiandrosterone, progesterone, growth hormone (GH), and its downstream hormone insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) are significantly decreased with increasing age. In males, serum levels of GH and IGF-I decrease significantly, whereas it can decrease in late age in a part of the population. Hormones have been shown to influence skin morphology and functions, skin permeability, wound healing, sebaceous lipogenesis, and the metabolism of skin cells. Prevention of skin aging by estrogen/progesterone replacement therapy is effective if administered early after menopause and influences intrinsically aged skin only. Vitamin D substitution and antioxidant treatment may also be beneficial. Replacement therapy with androgens, GH, IGF-I, progesterone, melatonin, cortisol, and thyroid hormones still remains controversial.


C C Zouboulis, E Makrantonaki. Hormonal therapy of intrinsic aging. Rejuvenation research. 2012 Jun;15(3):302-12

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PMID: 22533363

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