Preliminary evidence for vitamin D deficiency in nodulocystic acne

Dermatoendocrinol. 2015 Jan 14;6(1):e983687. doi: 10.4161/derm.29799. eCollection 2014 Jan-Dec.


Objective: Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease, and hormonal influences, follicular plugging and follicular hyperkeratinization, increased sebum secretion, Propionibacterium acnes colonization, and inflammation are involved in its pathogenesis. Recently, a significant body of evidence has accumulated that describes the comedolytic properties of vitamin D and its roles as a modulator of the immune system, a regulator of the proliferation and differentiation of sebocytes and keratinocytes, and as an antioxidant. In this study, we aimed to compare serum vitamin D levels in a group of patients with nodulocystic acne with vitamin D levels in a group of control subjects to determine whether there was any relationship between the vitamin D and acne.

Methods: Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) were measured in 43 patients with newly diagnosed nodulocystic acne and in 46 healthy control subjects, and participants were grouped according to their 25[OH]D levels as follows: normal/sufficient (>20 ng/mL) or insufficient/deficient (<20 ng/mL). Serum concentrations of calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were measured.

Results: Forty-three patients and 46 control individuals, with mean ages of 23.13 (± 5.78) years and 25.23 (± 4.73) years, respectively, were included in this study. There were no significant differences between the groups in relation to their body mass indices and Ca, P, ALP, and PTH levels. However, the patients with nodulocystic acne had significantly lower 25[OH]D levels than the subjects in the control group (P< 0.05).

Conclusion: The patients with nodulocystic acne had relatively low serum vitamin D levels compared with the subjects in the control group. The findings from this study suggest that there is a connection between low vitamin D levels and acne. Larger epidemiologic studies are needed to confirm the status of vitamin D levels in patients with acne.

Keywords: anti-comedogenic effect; comedolytic effect; nodulocystic acne; vitamin D.