Skin responses to topical dehydroepiandrosterone: implications in antiageing treatment?
Br J Dermatol. 2010 Nov ;163(5):968-76. PMID: 20698844
BACKGROUND: Although low dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is suspected to have a role in skin ageing, little information is available on the mechanisms potentially involved.
OBJECTIVES: To obtain information on androgen receptor (AR) and procollagen expression in ageing skin during DHEA treatment.
METHODS: A placebo-controlled, randomized, prospective study was performed with 75 postmenopausal women aged 60-65 years. The women were treated twice daily for 13 weeks with 3·0 mL of placebo or 0·1%, 0·3%, 1% or 2% DHEA cream applied on the face, arms, back of hands, upper chest and right thigh where 2-mm biopsies were collected before and after treatment.
RESULTS: Although the overall structure of the epidermis was not significantly affected at the light microscopy level, AR expression examined by immunocytochemistry was markedly increased by DHEA treatment. In the dermis, the expression levels of procollagen 1 and 3 mRNA estimated by in situ hybridization were increased by DHEA treatment. In addition, the expression of heat shock protein (HSP) 47, a molecule believed to have chaperone-like functions potentially affecting procollagen biosynthesis, was also found by immunocytochemistry evaluation to be increased, especially at the two highest DHEA doses.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest the possibility that topical DHEA could be used as an efficient and physiological antiageing skin agent.