Acne in infancy and acne genetics

Dermatology. 2003;206(1):24-8. doi: 10.1159/000067819.


Acne is a disease that can be seen in the first year of age, early childhood, prepubertal age and puberty. Neonatal acne is due mainly to considerable sebum excretion rate, and infantile acne because of high androgens of adrenal origin in girls and of adrenal and testes in boys. These pathogenic mechanisms are characteristic in these ages. Important factors like early onset of comedones and high serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate are predictors of severe or long-standing acne in prepubertal age. Hereditary factors play an important role in acne. Neonatal, nodulocystic acne and conglobate acne has proven genetic influences. Postadolescent acne is related with a first-degree relative with the condition in 50% of the cases. Chromosomal abnormalities, HLA phenotypes, polymorphism of human cytochrome P-450 1A1 and MUC1 gene are involved in the pathogenesis of acne. Several other genes are being studied.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy
  • Acne Vulgaris* / genetics
  • Acne Vulgaris* / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1 / genetics*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Keratolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sebaceous Glands / metabolism
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use


  • Keratolytic Agents
  • Tretinoin
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1