Metformin in dermatology: an overview.
Badr D, Kurban M, Abbas O.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Nov;27(11):1329-35. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12116. Epub 2013 Feb 26.



Metformin is an oral hypoglycaemic agent.

It acts by decreasing hepatic glucose output and increases the glucose utilization by muscles and adipocytes (increase in sensitivity to insulin)

It also has a lipid lowering activity (decrease in triglycerides and LDL).



This review published on the European Journal of Dermatology and Venereology (JEADV) shows how it could be used in skin disorders at an initial dosage of 500 to 1000mg a day:

-initial dose 850mg once daily or 500mg twice daily.

-increments of 850mg with a maximum of 2550mg per day

-(In children 10-16 initial dose is 500mg and increments are of 500mg, maximum 2000mg a day)

-Contraindications: renal diseases (risk for lactic acidosis)

-Monitoring: FBC, Haemoglobin (and Hematocrit) and Renal Function at least yearly



It shows evidence of usage for the following conditions:

-Hirsutism: studies done in patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It appears to lower circulating insulin, luteinizing hormone (LH), androstenedione, testosterone…

-Acne Vulgaris: those with PCOS, diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance might benefit from the treatment. study done at a dosage of 500 to 1000mg over a period of 6 months.

-Hidradentitis Suppurativa (HS)

-Acanthosis Nigricans

-The evidence appears to be less strong for other conditions such as Psoriasis, Skin Cancer and Eruptive Xanthomas.