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Do I need a blood test to evaluate my acne?

In general, blood tests are not required as acne is a condition of the skin. However, if the acne is due to hormonal imbalance, i.e. excessive androgen (i.e. a class of hormones that cause the sebaceous gland to enlarge and produce more sebum, which is an important factor in the causation of acne) production from either the adrenal gland or the ovary, measurement of selective androgens in the blood that are produced by these glands may warrant it.

It is important to note that most people with acne do not typically have significant hormonal abnormalities, i.e. the body is not overproducing hormones that affect and cause acne occurs. However, there may be oversensitivity at the level of our sebaceous gland to the normal amounts of circulating hormones. Studies showed that both hormonal and nonhormonal acne therapies that can reduce sebum production is very useful in treating acne.

How do we know whether a hormonal acne treatment is appropriate for a woman? The clue is, if the acne is unresponsive or only minimally responsive to conventional oral and topical acne treatments, or if the acne recurs very quickly after stopping oral antibiotics. We need to know that hormonal treatments are generally used only in women because of the unacceptable feminizing effects that they would have on men.

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