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Abstract

The human skin is a well-organized organ bearing different types of cells in a well-structured interference to each other including epidermal and follicular keratinocytes, sebocytes, melanocytes, dermal papilla cells and fibroblasts, endothelial cells, sweat gland cells as well as nerves. Several hormones act on different cell types of the skin, while it is also considered an endocrine organ secreting hormones that act at several sites of the organism. GH receptors are found in almost all cell types forming the skin, while IGF-1 receptors’ expression is restricted to the epidermal keratinocytes. Both Growth Hormone (GH) excess, as in the case of Acromegaly in adults, or Gigantism in growing children, and GH deficiency states lead to skin manifestations. In case of GH excess the main dermatological findings are skin thickening, coarsening of facial features, acrochordons, puffy hands and feet, oily skin and hyperhidrosis, while GH deficiency, on the contrary, is characterized by thin, dry skin and disorder of normal sweating. Moreover, special disorders associated with GH excess may have specific characteristics, as is the case of café-au-lait spots in Neurofibromatosis, or big café-au-lait skin hyperpigmented regions with irregular margins, as is the case in McCune-Albright syndrome. Meticulous examination of the skin may therefore contribute to the final diagnosis in cases of GH-induced disorders.

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Kanaka-Gantenbein, C., Kogia, C., Abdel-Naser, M.B. et al. Skin manifestations of growth hormone-induced diseases. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 17, 259–267 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11154-016-9378-8

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