This is meant to be a comprehensive list of high quality studies on acne. I’ve also added links to interesting discussions and news articles that I have come across. If you know of any relevant studies I am not listing here, please email me. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
You can find more acne research here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=acne
Research published in 2016
European guidelines for treatment of acne (updated for 2016) do not mention the words sugar or diet. Recommendations include systemic and topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, light therapies, isotretinoin, zinc, and others.
In a study of Nigerian women, acne sufferers had significantly higher blood levels of lead and copper
Vitamin D deficiency was more frequent in patients with acne, and serum 25(OH)D levels were inversely correlated with acne severity
The following lifestyle factors were associated with the appearance of acne: working an office job (versus unemployment or being a housewife), stress, low intake of fruits & vegetables, low intake of fresh fish
This article presents the latest findings on a potential impact that diet can have on pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.
Consumption of low fat milk, but not full-fat milk, is positively associated with acne
Strong evidence that carbohydrates are a primary cause of acne
This article presents the latest findings on a potential impact that diet can have on pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. The association between diet and acne can no longer be dismissed.
The results of this study show that fractional laser treatment in these patients is fast and practical. Depending on the scar condition it could be made 6 treatments, and even if the scar is not completely disappeared after the treatment, it significantly improves the look. In 35% of cases there is a complete reduction of scarring, and in 40% a significant reduction of scars with more than 50%.
Consumption of low-fat/skim milk, but not full-fat milk, was positively associated with acne.
Overall, there is early evidence that turmeric/curcumin products and supplements, both oral and topical, may provide therapeutic benefits for skin health.
Our findings suggest that a history of teenage acne might be a novel risk factor for melanoma [cancer] independent from the known factors.
A Zinc-less Zinc Regimen for Adults: A brilliant theory by acne.org user databased
Cordain: Acne Vulgaris – A Disease of Western Civilization
Recent Acne Studies
“We used to think that comedones preceded inflammation, but we now know that inflammation is involved in the development of comedones”
Teenage acne correlated to melanoma.
There is some low-quality evidence from single trials that LGLD, tea tree oil, and bee venom may reduce total skin lesions in acne vulgaris, but there is a lack of evidence from the current review to support the use of other CAMs, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, or wet-cupping therapy, for the treatment of this condition
Body mass index is negatively associated with acne lesion counts in Taiwanese women with post-adolescent acne. I can’t get access to the full text of this study, but it appears that researchers found evidence that heavier people have less acne than thin people.
Perimenstrual flare of adult acne.. 56% of women with acne report that the condition worsens before their period.
Diet and Acne
Stress, lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption, and menstruation aggravate acne.
A low-glycemic-load diet improves symptoms in acne vulgaris patients: a randomized controlled trial.
Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Assessing the Effect of Chocolate Consumption in Subjects with a History of Acne Vulgaris.. Conclusion: Eating chocolate makes acne worse in acne-prone men.
The Relationship of Diet and Acne
Does Diet Really Affect Acne?
In this study of Chinese students, desserts and fruit juices were linked to increased acne, and dairy and soy linked to decreased acne
A high glycemic load diet, dairy food intake, high fat diet, and iodine in Korean foods appear to play a role in acne exacerbation
Glycemic index, glycemic load: new evidence for a link with acne
High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris in Malaysian young adults: a case control study
2009 acne study. Milk and high glycemic load diets increased acne prevalence and severity
Acne Research Paper: Skim milk associated with Acne in teenagers
“Positive association between intake of milk and acne” in a study of 6000 teenage girls
Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris
Human skin condition and its associations with nutrient concentrations in serum and diet
Organic crops had significantly higher antioxidants than conventional crops, including 19% higher levels of phenolic acids, 69% higher levels of flavanones, 28% higher levels of stilbenes, 26% higher levels of flavones, 50% higher levels of flavonols, and 51% higher levels of anthocyanins.
Genetics and Acne
Family history linked to acne in teens
Stress and Acne
Stress is associated with increased acne, but not with increased sebum production.
Link Found Between Teens’ Stress Levels And Acne Severity
The Response of Skin Disease to Stress
Yoga reduces stress.
Blood tests showed that, after three months of yoga practice, three markers for inflammation were reduced by 10 to 15 percent.
Superoxide Dismutase and Acne
Superoxide Anions mixed with P. acnes triggers skin inflammation. — everyone has p. acnes bacteria, so the real culprit behind acne may be superoxide anions (O2-).
Superoxide Dismutase levels unusually low in 32 out of 34 individuals suffering from acne.
Taking melatonin for 30 days can increase ZnSOD (superoxide dismutase) by 31%.
Acne Rosacea linked to high levels of superoxide anions.
Consensus recommendations from the American Acne & Rosacea Society on the management of rosacea, part 5: a guide on the management of rosacea.
The quality of life impact of acne and rosacea compared to other major medical conditions.
Mast Cells Are Key Mediators of Cathelicidin-Initiated Skin Inflammation in Rosacea.
Therapeutic Update on Rosacea.
Psychology of Acne
Understanding the Burden of Adult Female Acne
The impact of acne vulgaris on quality of life and psychic health in young adolescents in Greece.
Evaluating of Life Quality in Patients with Acne Vulgaris
Acne vulgaris significantly affects patients’ quality of life. Regardless of the severity of acne, older adults were more affected by their acne.
Acne linked to suicide thoughts in students
Quality of Life and Emotional State in Chronic Skin Disease. Chronic skin disease is associated with depression, insomnia and anxiety. Patients with chronic skin diseases had low emotional well-being and general health ratings.
Medications / Topical Products
Cleanser with glycolic acid improved mild acne after 6 weeks of use
Skin Care and Acne
Topical epidermal growth factor reduces acne by 33.5%
The Use of Isotretinoin in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris
Accutane might work because it suppresses the retina’s ability to see light at night.
Classification of benzoyl peroxide as safe and effective
Clindamycin gel + Benzoyl Peroxide wash appears safe and well-tolerated in participants with mild to moderate acne vulgaris.
Observational study of Arctium lappa in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The homeopathic medicine lappa was effective in treating acne.
Probiotics and prebiotics in dermatology.
The Melatonin Cycle and Acne
Antiinflammatory Activity of Melatonin in Central Nervous System
Melatonin and its relation to the immune system and inflammation.
Melatonin cycle and sunlight
Lasers and Light Therapy
Evidence-based review of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of acne.
Light and laser therapy for acne: sham or science? facts and controversies.
Study showing red/blue light therapy helped with acne, followed by one that shows that red/blue light therapy failed to help.
Studies on Supplements & Nutrients
Individuals with severe acne had lower levels of vitamin E and zinc
Vitamin B / zinc tablets appear to be an effective oral therapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris and rosacea
Propionibacterium acnes Induces an IL-17 Response in Acne Vulgaris that Is Regulated by Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
Low vitamin A and E plasma levels have an important role in the pathogenesis of acne.
Vitamin D deficiency causes cancer and increased mortality rates.
Fructose malabsorption is associated with decreased plasma tryptophan.
Studies on Inflammation
Acne is an inflammatory disease and should be treated as such
Poor dental hygiene causes systemic inflammation
Studies on Heart Disease
A 99.4% effective way to reverse Coronary Heart Disease.
Soybean oil increased blood pressure and impaired endothelial function, compared to olive oil
Studies on Depression
Regular walking eases depression
Vitamin D Fights Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease
Acne patients 2-3 times as likely to be depressed as the general population
Young women are significantly more likely to die from heart disease if they suffer from depression. Depression is as powerful a risk factor for heart disease as diabetes and smoking.
NY Times summary of a study that found depressed adults were 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Low stress levels ‘increase male attractiveness to women’
Epidemiology and extracutaneous comorbidities of severe acne in adolescence: a U.S. population-based study.. Summary: Severe acne was more common in whites, women, and the wealthy. [possibly the same groups who are more likely to drink coffee?]
Scottish scientists founds that Americans who ate just 3.1 more servings/day of fruit and vegetables were found more attractive.
Zinc may shorten the length of common colds
Fish oil suspected in low rates of bipolar disorders in Japan.
Gluten disorder 4 times as prevalent as it was in the 1950s (based on study of frozen blood samples from then).
No evidence that supplementing melatonin is effective in treating sleep disorders.
A series of needling treatments improves acne scars.
Acne in the media:
Bloomberg: Medicis in $160 million boron-related acne treatment deal
New York Times: The Claim: Sugar in the Diet Can Lead to Acne
Adult women battle acne
Washington Post: Acne, Accutane, and Suicide Risk
Teens, Adults Take Dim View of Kids with Acne
Washington Post: Acne deserves serious scrutiny, for it is a frequently trivialized source of human misery
Associated Press: Increased pressure leads to more adult acne
New York Times: Proactiv Tries to Shed the Hard-Sell Approach
Forbes: Guthy Recker collects roughly $800 million in revenue from Proactiv sales in 2010
LA Times: Let others sell acne treatments via star power. Acne.org founder Dan Kern takes another approach
How acne and depression feed each other
New York Times: For Top Medical Students, Dermatology an Attractive Field
Acne, the cause of her daughter’s angst was surprisingly hard to fight. Not all doctors were helpful
Washington Post: Paleolithic diet is so easy, cavemen actually did it
Less Sleep May Accelerate Brain Aging
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
The Clear Skin Diet