A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effect of Conjugated Estrogens on Skin Thickness

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Our purpose was to assess the potential benefit of therapy with conjugated estrogens therapy on skin thickness in postmenopausal women.


Sixty postmenopausal women were randomly allocated to receive conjugated estrogens or placebo treatment for 12 months. Neither participants nor investigators were aware of the group allocation. Skin thickness was measured by ultrasonography at baseline and after 6 to 12 months of treatment. Histologic changes were evaluated by skin biopsy at baseline and after 12 months' treatment. Quality of life and adverse events were recorded at each visit and at the end of treatment.


Treatment with conjugated estrogens for 12 months significantly increases, at the level of the right great trochanter, the thickness of the skin (p < 0.01), as assessed by ultrasonography, and of the dermis (p < 0.05), as assessed by skin biopsy. No statistically significant difference was observed in the control population. Quality of life was reported to be improved (p < 0.05) in women treated with estrogen compared with those in the placebo group.


The results may help postmenopausal women to better appraise the benefits of estrogen replacement therapy, and they provide further evidence of the potential of conjugated estrogens in preventing skin aging. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:642-9.)

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