Seasonal variations in the severity of acne vulgaris

Int J Dermatol. 1996 Feb;35(2):116-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4362.1996.tb03274.x.


Background and objective: The improvement of acne in summertime or the aggravation of acne in winter is a traditional dermatologic opinion. Ultraviolet rays are thought to be beneficial in the treatment of acne. In the existing literature there is no proof of this. The purpose of this study was to find out whether or not acne generally worsens in winter.

Patients and method: One hundred and thirty-nine patients were asked if their acne worsens in winter or in summertime, whether it improves seasonally, or if they didn't notice any change with the seasons.

Results: About one-third of the patients reported an aggravation of their acne in winter, but also approximately one-third of the patients complained about an aggravation of their acne in summer. Another third did not notice any change.

Conclusions: Sun-bathing may be beneficial for psychologic reasons and may produce euphoric effects, but we do not see any reason to treat acne with ultraviolet radiation because of all its negative effects on the skin.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / classification
  • Acne Vulgaris / physiopathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heliotherapy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sweating
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Ultraviolet Therapy