Serum levels of androgens in acne & their role in acne severity

Serum levels of androgens in acne

  • Usma Iftikhar King Edward Medical University
  • Nakhshab Choudhry King Edward Medical University
Keywords: Acne vulgaris, Androgens, Hyperandrogenism, Acne Severity.


Objectives: To correlate acne severity with elevated androgen levels and to compare androgen levels between cases and controls.

Methods: This case-control study was carried out in the Department of Dermatology, Mayo Hospital, Lahore from March 2016 – March 2017. Two hundred and seventy patients and eighty age and gender-matched controls were recruited after ethical approval and informed consent and categorized into mild, moderate and severe acne. Severity was correlated with serum Testosterone, Dihydrotestoststerone and Dihydroepiandrosterone Sulphate levels. Quantitative variables were expressed as median and percentiles, comparisons done by Mann-Whitney and correlations by Spearman correlation. P-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: There were 142 (41%) males and 208 (59%) females. Ninety-Seven patients had mild, 108 moderate and 65 had severe disease. Median hormonal levels were 3.5ng/ml, 184pg/ml and 0.82ug/dl for Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone and Dihydroepiandrosterone Sulphate respectively which differed significantly between cases and controls. There was no correlation with severity but the levels differed significantly between the different grades in case of Testosterone and DHEAS.

Conclusion: Androgens are not directly correlated with acne severity, but affect acne severity as seen in difference between their levels in different grades of acne. Anti-androgens may be initiated early in acne resistant to conventional therapy.

How to cite this:
Iftikhar U, Choudhry N. Serum levels of androgens in acne & their role in acne severity. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(1):146-150.  doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Author Biography

Nakhshab Choudhry, King Edward Medical University

Professor & Head of Department,

Biochemistry, King Edward Medical University,

Lahore, Pakistan

How to Cite
Iftikhar, U., & Choudhry, N. (2019). Serum levels of androgens in acne & their role in acne severity: Serum levels of androgens in acne. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 35(1).