Acne and smoking


Background. Post-pubertal acne is an inflammatory form, whose cause is unknown. Contrasting data are available on correlation between acne and smoking habit.


Objectives. To verify the frequency of NIA among women, a possible correlation with cigarette smoking, possible differences in sebum composition in a group of smoker ladies with acne compared to healthy smokers and non smokers.


Method and results. 1046 randomly selected women (25–50 years old) took part in the study. Personal details were acquired. In 60 selected female subjects we analysed sebum composition for α-tocopherol, squalene and squalene monohydroperoxide. We found a high prevalence of NIA among women (74.6%), a strong correlation with smoking habit (p < 0.0001), as well as an increase in the grade of sebum peroxidation (p < 0.05) with a reduction in Vitamin E (p = 0.02), in the subjects with acne compared to the controls.


Conclusions. The clinical evidences and the experimental data showed a straight correlation between smoking habit and post-pubertal acne in which the non-inflammatory form (NIA) is the most frequent. In the more severe cases we could consider NIA as a new entity (smoker’s acne).


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Acne and smoking