Gynecologic and andrologic dermatology and the metabolic syndrome.
The relationship of sex hormones to obesity and inflammation has been extensively studied. Research on endogenous and exogenous sex steroids, including studies on animal models of metabolic syndrome (MetS), has indicated that sex hormones are involved in metabolic pathways relevant to MetS. Lower testosterone levels in men and higher levels in women increase risks of MetS and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin increase risks of MetS and T2DM in both sexes. Skin diseases that are sex hormone mediated, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, acanthosis nigricans, acne vulgaris, and pattern alopecia, have been associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases the risk for metabolic and potentially cardiovascular complications, and patients with such skin diseases should be followed for a prolonged time to determine whether they develop these complications. Early intervention may help delay or prevent the onset of T2DM and decrease cardiovascular risks.