Studies Find Strong Genetic Link with Acne

Studies Find Strong Genetic Link with Acne | Spectrum Dermatology

Studies Find Strong Genetic Link with Acne

There are a lot of myths when it comes to acne, from the idea that eating chocolate causes acne (not true) to not washing your face diligently causes it (only somewhat true). Spectrum Dermatology specializes in treating a variety of skin ailments, and acne is the most common. Most people have experienced some form of acne in their lifetime, particularly during puberty. Hormones are one factor that can cause or exacerbate acne, but genetics also plays a big role. In the May 2014 issue of the Illumin review journal, researcher Yuechan Chen showcased how genetics plays a role in the development of acne in 81 percent of cases.

Chen describes acne as needing a “long, persistent battle … with professional medication help.” Although he also points out that there are some lifestyle factors, lifestyle only contributes to acne 19 percent of the time. “Some people are just born with acne-prone skin, which means acne is genetic,” Chen says. Skin is the largest organ of the body, and the largest inflammatory system. It’s the organ that first battles bacteria or virus. Acne is a well-researched problem, and Chen references a study of 468 pairs of identical twins along with 1,099 pairs of fraternal twins. In this relatively large study, it showed that 81 percent of acne factors were due to genetics instead of diet, stress levels, or environment.

Sebum, the natural oils on the face that can clog pores and cause the most common type of acne, had identical exertion rates in identical twins. Identical twins also experienced the same levels of acne severity. Fraternal twins also showed the same exertion rate of sebum, but varying acne severity. The researchers concluded the sebum rate is determined by genetics, but acne severity is not.

Familial Aspects of Acne

In a different study referenced by Chen, 204 patients with acne and 144 without participated and shared the acne history of first- and second-degree relatives. The researchers analyzed the data and discovered that a person with a first-degree relative with acne is four times more likely to have acne compared to those who don’t.

Fortunately, there are many methods to fight and control acne depending on acne type and severity. “Next time you get acne, don’t blame yourself,” Chen says. “After all, most (acne) is rooted in our genes.” Call Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400 and start treating your acne today.