What is the role of circulating androgens in the etiology of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2020
  • Author: Marina Jovanovic, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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An abnormal end-organ response to normal circulating levels of androgens is proposed. [46] The normal apocrine gland contains 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone. Finasteride is a competitive inhibitor of the 5-alpha reductase type II isoenzyme. The benefits of finasteride in some patients with recalcitrant and persistent forms of hidradenitis suppurativa, [46] raised the issue of whether 5-alpha reductase type I or type II is expressed in this disease and whether this expression applies to the apocrine gland, sebaceous gland, or both. On the other hand, sebum excretion is not an important factor in the development of hidradenitis suppurativa. [48] Thus, hormonal influence remains controversial.

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