How does the hormone cyproterone acetate work to treat acne?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
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).
100 Questions & Answers About Acne

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100 Questions & Answers About Acne

100 Questions and Answers About Acne provides you with all the information you need to manage your complexion problems. Written by Dr. Doris J. Day, a world-class expert in the field, this clearly...

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Acne Treatment

Acne Treatment

Acne treatments vary, depending on the severity of your acne. Many teenagers and adults can control mild acne with over-the-counter topical solutions, like acne cream and salicylic acid products that loosen blackheads and whitehea...

ds, clearing clogged pores. For more severe acne, dermatologists may recommend prescription medications, or even an in-office procedure such as a chemical peel or laser treatment. Learn more about acne treatment with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.