The influence of exposome on acne

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018 May;32(5):812-819. doi: 10.1111/jdv.14820. Epub 2018 Feb 15.


Background: Acne vulgaris is one of the main reasons for dermatological consultations. Severity and response to treatment may be impacted by various external factors or exposome.

Aim: To assess the impact of environmental factors on acne and to provide a comprehensive overview of the acne exposome.

Methods: Two consensus meetings of five European dermatologists and a comprehensive literature search on exposome factors triggering acne served as a basis for this review.

Results: Acne exposome was defined as the sum of all environmental factors influencing the occurrence, duration and severity of acne. Exposome factors impact on the response and the frequency of relapse to treatments by interacting with the skin barrier, sebaceous gland, innate immunity and cutaneous microbiota. They may be classified into the following six main categories: nutrition, psychological and lifestyle factors, occupational factors including cosmetics, as well as pollutants, medication and climatic factors. Moreover, practical considerations for the dermatologist's clinical practice are proposed.

Conclusion: Exposome factors including nutrition, medication, occupational factors, pollutants, climatic factors, and psychosocial and lifestyle factors may impact on the course and severity of acne and on treatment efficacy. Identifying and reducing the impact of exposome is important for an adequate acne disease management.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris* / etiology
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Climate
  • Consensus
  • Cosmetics / adverse effects
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Hormones / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Air Pollutants
  • Cosmetics
  • Hormones