Question

Acne Treatment

How does the hormone cyproterone acetate work to treat acne?

A Answers (1)

  • ADoris Day, MD, Dermatology, answered
    Cyproterone acetate (CA) blocks the androgen receptor. It is combined with an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol in an oral contraceptive formulation commonly used in Europe for the treatment of acne (Dianette, Diane-35). It is not currently available in the United States. Reports have shown improvement of 75% to 90% in patients taking variations of this medication. CA works through a dual action of both inhibiting ovulation and blocking the androgen receptors. This drug should be used only in women because of the risk of feminization in men (increased breast size and other effects).

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Can any oral contraceptives make my acne worse?