Metformin May Help Reduce Acne in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Patients


TORONTO — A 6-month treatment regimen of metformin can help reduce the prevalence and degree of acne in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, according to Dr. Susanne Tan and her colleagues.

The researchers treated 100 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and acne papulopustules with a weight-adapted dose of metformin for 6 months. The degree of acne fell from a mean of 1.5 to 0.9 and the prevalence dropped from 100% at baseline to 72% after 6 months of treatment.

The mean age of the women who participated in the study was 28 years, and they had a mean body mass index of 31.8 kg/m

The findings were reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

Women with 1–10 lesions were considered to have degree I acne, those with 11–20 lesions had degree II, and those with 21–30 lesions had degree III. At baseline, 55% of participants had degree I acne, 39% had degree II acne, and 6% had degree III.

Hyperandrogenism and chronic anovulation were assessed at baseline and after 6 months through physical exam and blood testing, the researchers wrote.

After metformin therapy, 56% of women in the study experienced at least one degree of improvement in their acne. About 41% saw no difference, and 3% worsened, according to the study. After 6 months of treatment with metformin, there was a statistically significant decline in some PCOS symptoms, such as high BMI, amenorrhea, and acne.

There was no statistical difference in hirsutism or alopecia from baseline, Dr. Tan and her colleagues noted.


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