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Relationship of whole blood zinc levels to acne severity among Filipinos 18-25 years old: a cross-sectional comparative study in a tertiary government hospital

Monique Lianne C. Lim-Ang, MD, MBA, DPDS, Ma. Angela M. Lavadia, MD, FPDS



Acne Vulgaris is one of the most common dermatologic diagnoses in the world. It can persist for years, result in permanent scarring, and have serious adverse effects on psychosocial development.



This is a cross-sectional comparative study. Whole blood zinc levels of 30 patients with acne vulgaris divided into mild (n=10), moderate (n=10), and severe (n=10), and 10 healthy patients were measured. Acne severity was evaluated using the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS).



A total of 40 patients participated in this study. The mean whole blood zinc level in acne patients and non-acne patients were 5.03 ± 1.92 mcg/mL and 7.39 ± 0.79 mcg/mL, respectively. The mean zinc level of the controls was significantly higher compared to that of the acne patients (p=0.0006). Furthermore, mean whole blood zinc level of the patients with severe acne was significantly lower compared to that of the controls, mild acne and moderate acne (p<0.001). Adjusting for age and sex, there is a significant association between severity of acne vulgaris and blood zinc levels (p<0.0001). Specifically, the mean blood zinc level of the patients with moderate and severe acne were significantly lower compared to that of the control group (p=0.019 and p<0.001, respectively).



Whole blood zinc levels were inversely correlated with acne vulgaris severity in the Filipino population. Further studies are recommended to determine the role of zinc in the pathogenesis of acne and the effects of oral zinc supplementation on acne patients.


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Relationship of whole blood zinc levels to acne severity among Filipinos 18-25 years old: a cross-sectional comparative study in a tertiary government hospital