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Dermatology Online Journal

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Progestins and acne vulgaris: a review


The role of exogenous progestin in the development of acne is unclear. Progestins are known for their androgenic potential, but newer generations of progestins have low or anti-androgenic activity. This review will evaluate the association between progestins found in hormonal long-acting reversible contraceptives (intrauterine devices and subdermal implants) and acne, as well as the role of oral contraceptives in acne management. Our review demonstrates that the cause and effect relationship between progestins and acne is difficult to establish and future studies that seek to understand how progestins modulate acne are necessary.

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