(Last Updated On: October 29, 2018)

Authors: Monique Lianne C. Lim, MD, Ma. Rosa Noliza F. Encarnacion, MD, Ma. Angela M. Lavadia, MD, FPDS


Introduction: 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.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to determine the relationship between whole blood zinc levels and the severity of acne vulgaris in Filipino patients and normal controls.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional comparative study. Whole blood zinc levels of 30 acne vulgaris patients divided into mild (n=10), moderate (n=10), severe (n=10), and 10 healthy patients were measured by ashing acid digestion- inductively coupled plasma (ICP). Acne severity was evaluated using the Global Acne Grading Scale (GAGS).

Results: The mean whole blood zinc level in acne patients and controls 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, patients with 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).

Conclusion: The results indicate that whole blood zinc levels are inversely correlated with severity of acne vulgaris in the Filipino population.





Acne Vulgaris, Whole Blood Zinc Levels, Global Acne Grading System

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