A pilot study was conducted to compare lipid components of sebum from unaffected and acne-affected individuals. Nine males, 15-20 years old, with no acne, or with moderate to severe acne, were recruited. Facial images were taken with regular, polarized and fluorescent lights for each subject. Skin surface lipids were analyzed following collection of sebum using sebutapes. As expected, the subjects with acne had more (59%) sebum than the control subjects. Free fatty acids were the only lipid group that was reduced in the sebum of acne subjects. The specific lipid that differed the most between the two groups was squalene, which was upregulated in acne subjects by 2.2-fold on a quantitative basis. Squalene also represented a significantly greater proportion of the total sebaceous lipids in acne patients compared to controls (20% vs. 15%). The increase in the amount of squalene could represent a lipid marker for acne prone skin.
Keywords: acne; fatty acid; lipid; sebum; squalene could represent a lipid marker for acne prone skin.