Acne is an inflammatory disease and alterations of sebum composition initiate acne lesions

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 May;28(5):527-32. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12298. Epub 2013 Oct 18.


Hyperseborrhoea has been considered as a major aetiopathogenetic factor of acne. However, changes in sebaceous gland activity not only correlate with seborrhoea but also with alterations in sebum fatty acid composition. Current findings indicate that sebum lipid fractions with proinflammatory properties and inflammatory tissue cascades are associated in the process of the development of acne lesions. The oxidant/antioxidant ratio of the skin surface lipids and alterations of lipid composition are the main players in the induction of acne inflammation. Nutrition may influence the development of seborrhoea, the fractions of sebum lipids and acne. Acne is an inflammatory disease probably triggered, among others, by proinflammatory sebum lipid fractions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Sebum / chemistry*