Acne vulgaris is a common dermatological disorder with a multifactorial pathogenesis. Oxidative status has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several skin diseases, including acne. This study was aimed to investigate the levels of oxidative stress biomarkers in acne vulgaris patients with varying severities. The study involved 156 patients with acne and 46 healthy human controls. Based on clinical examination, patients were grouped into 3 subgroups as follows: mild, moderate, and severe acne. Oxidative stress was examined by measuring plasma levels of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and malondialdehyde (MDA). Plasma levels of MDA in acne patients were significantly higher as compared with that of the controls, whereas activities of the antioxidant enzymes SOD and CAT were lower. Moreover, TAC was also low in acne patients as compared with that of the controls. Higher MDA levels in the severe acne subgroup as compared with that of the mild and moderate subgroups were also observed. Furthermore, in the severe acne subgroup, a significant negative correlation was observed between MDA and CAT levels. The data suggests that oxidative stress plays a key role in acne progress and may be employed as a biomarker index to assess the disease's activity and to monitor its treatment.
Keywords: Acne vulgaris; catalase; malondialdehyde; superoxide dismutase; total antioxidant capacity.