Being overweight may have a protective effect on whether adolescents develop acne, according to a new study of more than 600,400 Israeli youth.
“In contrast to the common misconception among dermatologists and patients, we found that overweight and obesity are inversely associated with acne in a dose-dependent matter,” says study author Igor Snast, M.D., a dermatologist at Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva, Israel.
Prior studies looking at adolescent body mass index (BMI) and acne have yielded conflicting results with some showing
a greater likelihood of acne with increasing weight and others suggesting overweight and obesity have a protective effect when it comes to teenage acne.
Often, the thinking has been that the more overweight the adolescent, the more likely it is that child will have acne. The Western diet has been implicated as not only a factor for obesity but also with increasing acne prevalence. Physiologic factors, including the release of adipokine-driven inflammatory cytokines has linked obesity to acne.
Dr. Snast and colleagues analyzed a national database of 299,163 males and 301,241 females, most about 18 years of
age, who were in Israel’s Army service.
1. Snast I, Dalal A, Twig G, et al. Acne and obesity: A nationwide study of 600,404 adolescents. J Am
Acad Dermatol. 2019;81(3):723-729.