Content » Vol 94, Issue 1

Investigative Report

Long-term Topical Oestrogen Treatment of Sun-exposed Facial Skin in Post-menopausal Women Does Not Improve Facial Wrinkles or Skin Elasticity, But Induces Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 Expression

Hyun-Sun Yoon, Se-Rah Lee, Jin Ho Chung
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1614


It is controversial whether treatment with oestrogen stimulates collagen production or accumulation in sun-exposed skin. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of long-term treatment with topical oestrogen on photoaged facial skin, with regard to wrinkle severity, and expression of procollagen and matrix metalloproteinase-1 enzyme. Two groups of 40 post-menopausal women applied either 1 g of 1% oestrone or vehicle cream once daily to the face for 24 weeks. Visiometer R1–R5 values (skin wrinkles) and Cutometer values (skin elasticity) were not significantly improved in the oestrone group after 24 weeks of treatment. Type I procollagen immunostaining did not increase in the oestrone group compared with the control group. However, levels of matrix metalloproteinase-1 mRNA increased robustly (10.3 times) in oestrone-treated skin compared with vehicle-treated skin. Thus, treatment with topical oestrogen may be deleterious in ultraviolet-induced skin ageing, at least in part, through induction of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression in human skin.


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