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Dermatology Online Journal

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Bioidentical hormone therapy in menopause: relevance in dermatology


Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to be effective in alleviating menopausal symptoms. However, its use is controversial owing to potential health risks, such as thromboembolism and cancer. Bioidentical hormone therapy has recently become popular as an alternative to conventional hormone replacement therapy. These bioidentical hormones have a molecular structure identical to endogenous hormones found in a woman's body. A claimed advantage of bioidentical hormone therapy is the compounding practice in order to individualize therapy depending on patient's own hormone levels and symptoms. However, there is no scientific evidence to assess the validity of these claims. Bioidentical hormone therapy has also been used by dermatologists for its anti-aging effects on the skin, but little is known about efficacy and side effects of bioidentical hormones in this field. This review illustrates the main purpose of bioidentical hormone therapy for dermatological uses and its potential side effects, serving as a tool for dermatologists when facing these patients.

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