Seasonal variation in acne vulgaris--myth or reality

J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;29(8):484-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2002.tb00313.x.


A traditional opinion proposed by Western dermatologists is that acne improves in summer and worsens in winter. We studied 452 patiens with acne vulgaris and asked them about seasonal variation in their acne. A total of 229 patients (50.67%) complained of a seasonal variation; a significant proportion (56.33%) noticed an aggravation in summer, while 16.16% improved in summer and only 11.35% worsened in winter. Apparently winters did not affect the severity of acne in a majority of patients (64.20%). Significantly, a majority (80.62%) of patients noticed a summer aggravation due to sweating and increased humidity. Thus our study is at variance with the existing literature, with summer aggravation being the predominant complaint. We would like to propose that the increased temperature, marked humidity, and sweating might explain the results seen in our region.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meteorological Concepts
  • Seasons*