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Using Estrogen for Skin Rejuvenation Shows Mixed Results

Posted: September 25, 2009

p>Dermatologists are seeing mixed results when using estrogen to try to spur skin rejuvenation, encouraging them to seek more tried and true methods.

 

For many women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can alleviate the physical symptoms associated with the change of life. But despite the initial hype generated by postmenopausal women who noticed a marked improvement in their skin’s appearance while on HRT, dermatologists argue that scientific studies of estrogen do not show definitive improvements for skin rejuvenation of photodamaged skin and the potential risks when used long-term outweigh any potential skin benefits.

At the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2009 in Boston, dermatologist Margaret E. Parsons, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at Davis in Sacramento, reviewed studies that demonstrate mixed results when examining whether or not estrogen improves the appearance of the skin and why patients should opt for tried-and-true cosmetic therapies instead.

“Based on the research conducted thus far, it does not appear that topical or oral estrogens are a viable long-term solution for improving sun-damaged or aging skin,” said Dr. Parsons. “In my practice, I do not prescribe estrogens for skin rejuvenation because of the lack of consistent data to support their use and the known risks of prolonged estrogen therapy, including an increased risk of breast cancer.”