Author(s): Ashcroft GS, Ashworth JJ
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Abstract Estrogens play a vital role in the development of sexually dimorphic characteristics essential for reproduction. In recent years, insight has been gained into the role of estrogens in non-reproductive pathophysiological processes, including neoplasia, vascular disease and osteoporosis. Intriguingly, the skin appears to act as an end-organ target for estrogenic action; marked structural and functional skin changes occurring after the menopause can be related to altered hormonal profiles. One of the most important consequences of such hormonal changes is the age-related delay in cutaneous wound healing, leading to substantial morbidity and mortality, and increased costs to health services. Reduced estrogen levels have major downstream effects on cellular and tissue responses to injury; such downstream effects include impaired cytokine signal transduction, unchecked inflammation, and altered protein balance, and have a major impact on the rate of wound healing. Further understanding of the complex interaction between aging cells and the hormonal micro-environment is essential to develop focused therapeutic strategies to improve cutaneous wound healing in hypogonadal individuals, including the elderly.
This article was published in Am J Clin Dermatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research