Investigation of skin characteristics in patients with acromegaly
Murat Borlu2, Zuleyha Karaca1, Hatice Yildiz2, Fatih Tanriverdi1, Gulsah Elbuken1, Kursad Unluhizarci1 & Fahrettin Kelestimur1
Introduction: Presence of GH receptor in human skin and its appendages suggests a direct effect of GH on skin characteristics. Wet and oily skin due to hyperhidrosis and increased sebum production were described in acromegaly patients.
Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the hydration via capacitance, sebum content, transepidermal water loss, pH and temperature of the skin in patients with acromegaly. The data were compared with that of control subjects.
Patients and methods: A total of 42 patients with acromegaly (mean age: 43) and 22 control subjects were included in this study. The patients had newly or previously diagnosed acromegaly with active disease, which was confirmed with elevated IGF1 levels according to age and sex and GH response to OGTT, at the time of investigation. The patients were assessed after appropriate replacement therapy for deficient hormone(s) if present. Skin properties were measured on forehead and forearm by Sebumeter SM810, Corneometer CM825, Tewameter TM210 and Phmeter PH900 as noninvasive and well-established measuring methods.
Results: The sebum content was increased on forehead and forearm in patients with acromegaly when compared with control subjects (239.24 and 161.32 μg/cm on forehead, 36.66 and 12.77 μg/cm on forearm in patients with acromegaly and control group respectively). The skin pH measure, temperature and average TEWL of the patients were not statistically different from the controls.
Discussion: These data suggest that GH and/or IGF1 have a modulator role on several skin characteristics. Skin changes in patients with acromegaly could be explained by increased sebum secretion, further functional and histomorphological studies are warranted to clarify the effects of GH on skin physiology.