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The aim of the present study was to evaluate the estrogen dermatitis of women who have chronic skin disorders with exacerbations or premenstrual dermatitis in a cyclic pattern. Twenty-three women exhibiting skin disorders of pruritus, urticaria, eczema, papulovesicular eruption, hirsutism-acne with hyperpigmentation (hirsutism and/or its related disorders such as acne) and 18 healthy control subjects were included in the study. Sensitivity to estrogen was described in 14 of 23 women. Of the 14 estrogen sensitive women, nine had a premenstrual flare of their skin lesions and five had a chronic dermatitis with exacerbations. In the evaluation of endocrine profile, mean serum testosterone and LH levels of the patient group were significantly higher than controls (2.814 +/- 0.839 vs. 1.561 +/- 0.645 nm/l, P < 0.001; 10.843 +/- 2.538 vs. 4.539 +/- 1.215 IU/l, P < 0.0001). The LH/FSH ratio of the patient group was also significantly higher than controls (1.765 +/- 0.329 vs. 0.810 +/- 0.116, P < 0.0001). Mean serum progesterone level of the patient group was significantly lower than the control group (0.499 +/- 0.201 vs. 0.977 +/- 0.396 ng/ml, P < 0.001). Hyperandrogenism and anovulation were the two more common outcomes in the patient group. Skin lesions of estrogen sensitive women were all cured with the administration of tamoxifen 20 mg daily for 7 days premenstrually. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.