Patients with acne are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D, and lower levels of vitamin D deficiency may also be associated with greater acne severity in conjunction with increased body mass index (BMI), according to study findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

A total of 50 patients with acne and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy control participants were included in this study. The investigators used the global acne grading system to grade the patients’ acne severity. In addition, the BMI was calculated for all patients and healthy control participants. The investigators also measured serum levels of 25(OH)D3 to determine serum vitamin D3 levels.

Approximately 60% of patients with very severe acne and 33% of patients with severe acne had vitamin D deficiency, study data indicated. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in patients with acne compared with healthy control participants (28% vs 6.7%, respectively; P =.022). No significant difference was observed between patients with acne and healthy control participants in regard to mean serum 25(OH)D levels (16.652±8.63 vs 20.904±11.66, respectively; P =.066).


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A high BMI was reported in 80% of patients with very severe acne and 73.33% of patients with severe acne. There was a direct association between acne grades and BMI (P =.00037). The investigators observed a significantly higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency as well as vitamin D insufficiency in patients who are overweight and obese (P =.001). The significant association between levels of vitamin D, BMI, and acne severity was found in only patients with very severe acne (P =.0214).

A limitation of this study included the overall small sample size.

The researchers added that additional “studies should be carried out to see association of metabolic syndrome and vitamin D with severity of acne,” and other research should investigate a novel approach for acne treatment “so as to target multiple interlinked events in its pathogenesis.”

Reference

Singh A, Dorjay K, Sinha S, Chitkara A. The interplay of vitamin D and body mass index in acne patients vs. controls. J Cosmet Dermatol. Published online March 2, 2021. doi:10.1111/jocd.14034

This article originally appeared on Dermatology Advisor