Acne vulgaris: nutritional factors may be influencing psychological sequelae

Med Hypotheses. 2007;69(5):1080-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2007.02.037. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Acne vulgaris is a distressing skin condition which can carry with it significant psychological disability. Patients with acne are more likely to experience anger and are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation. Certain nutrients which have been implicated as influencing the pathophysiology of acne have also been identified as important mediators of human cognition, behavior and emotions. Zinc, folic acid, selenium, chromium and omega-3 fatty acids are all examples of nutrients which have been shown to influence depression, anger and/or anxiety. These same nutrients, along with systemic oxidative stress and an altered intestinal microflora have been implicated in acne vulgaris. It is our contention that certain nutritional factors, a weakened antioxidant defense system and altered intestinal microflora may interplay to increase the risk of psychological sequelae in acne vulgaris.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Acne Vulgaris / physiopathology*
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Risk Assessment