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Acne study in adolescents and young adults

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Acne is a widespread disease. It represents not only a cosmetic problem but is also a condition which can negatively affect the emotions and thoughts of sufferers.

In order to examine the association between presence, severity and diet, Centro Studi GISED conducted an observational case-control aimed at adolescents and young adults.

The study, conducted throughout Italy in 15 hospital dermatological clinics, involved a total of 205 cases (patients with diagnosed acne) and 358 controls, mean age 17 years, who completed a questionnaire relating to factors potentially implicated in the development of acne.

The study participants, young patients with a diagnosis of moderate to severe acne and controls with absent or mild acne, answered questions about socio-demographic characteristics, personal habits, menstrual and medical history. A questionnaire on dietary habits collected information on the main foods used and their frequency of use.

The study showed an increased risk of acne in the presence of parents who suffered from acne in their youth, a low BMI has instead a protective effect, greater in males than in females, while smoking and alcohol do not seem associated with the risk of acne. No association was found between menstrual history and acne in females.

Analysis of dietary habits showed that the use of milk, especially skimmed milk, seems to favor the risk of acne while a constant consumption of fish has a protective effect. On the other hand, no significant associations were observed between acne and the other foods considered including carbohydrates, chocolate and sweets.


The results of the study were published here:

Di Landro A, Cazzaniga S, Parazzini F, et al. Family history, body mass index, selected dietary factors, menstrual history, and risk of moderate to severe acne in adolescents and young adults. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012;67:1129-35.

Grossi E, Cazzaniga S, Crotti S, et al. The constellation of dietary factors in adolescent acne: a semantic connectivity map approach. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016;30:96-100.

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