Acromegaly is associated with decreased skin transepidermal water loss and temperature, and increased skin pH and sebum secretion partially reversible after treatment
Dokmetas, Hatice Sebila
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Background: Acromegaly is characterized by an acquired progressive somatic disfigurement, mainly involving the face and extremities, besides many other organ involvement. Wet and oily skin was described in acromegaly patients and it was attributed to hyperhidrosis and increased sebum production but this suggestion has not been evaluated with reliable methods. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the skin parameters of patients with acromegaly using measurements of skin hydration, sebum content, transepidermal water loss, pH and temperature and particularly the effects of 12 months of treatment on these parameters. Methods: 52 patients with acromegaly and 24 healthy control subjects were included in this two blinded prospective study. Skin properties were measured on forehead and forearm by Corneometer CM825, Sebumeter SM810, Tewameter TM210 and Phmeter PH900 as non-invasive reliable measuring methods. Serum GH, IGF-1 and all measurements of skin properties on forehead and forearm were repeated at the end of the 3, and 6 months of therapy in 20 cases. Patients were treated with appropriate replacement therapy for deficient pituitary hormones. Results: The sebum content and pH of the skin of acromegalic patients were significantly higher and transepidermal water loss and skin temperature were found to be significantly lower in acromegalic patients when compared to the control group both on forehead and forearm. GH and IGF-1 levels were positively correlated with sebum levels and negatively correlated with skin temperature on both forehead and forearm. The sebum levels of the patients were significantly decreased both on forehead and forearm at 3rd and 6th months of treatment. Conclusion: The present study demonstrated increased sebum secretion, decreased transepidermal water loss, alkali and hypothermic skin surface in patients with acromegaly by reliable methods for the first time. These data suggest that GH and/or IGF-I may have a modulatory role on several skin characteristics which can be at least partially reversible with treatment. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.