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Moderate Smoking Linked to Severe Acne

Fewer than 21 cigarettes a day associated with more severe acne compared with heavier smokers

FRIDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer heavy smokers have severe acne than light smokers or non-smokers, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Itay Klaz, M.D., of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, and colleagues studied 27,083 men aged 21 to 22 years between 1983 and 2003. The researchers compared information regarding family history and smoking habits, noting that 11,718 (43.3 percent) were smokers and of this group 6,512 smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day. This data was correlated with cases of severe acne.

The investigators found there were significantly fewer cases of severe acne among active smokers than non-smokers, and that severe acne was more prevalent among those who smoked fewer than 21 cigarettes a day compared with those who smoked more cigarettes.

"The underlying causal mechanisms of the relationship between severe acne and smoking need further clarification, but previous in vitro and clinical studies strongly support an association with nicotine. We suggest a randomized controlled trial with topical nicotine treatment for acne to further investigate the significant inverse correlation between cigarette smoking and severe acne vulgaris observed in our study," the authors conclude.

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