New Study Shows Genetics Is a Big Reason for This Common Skin Condition

Photo Credits: nelen/ Shutterstock | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

When the Twins Day Festival took place in Twinsburg, OH two summers ago, it wasn't just a massive meeting place for multiples, but an opportunity to survey a "perfect study group" for the very prevalent skin condition of acne.

As published in the April issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, the study was able to separate genetic versus environmental factors that may contribute to acne severity by surveying 139 identical and fraternal twins (279 individuals) and one set of triplets. Both groups, on average, were predominantly female.

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Perhaps not surprising, the study supports the thinking that there is a definite link between genetics and acne, as the findings show the proportion of pairs where twins have acne was significantly higher in identical (64 percent) versus fraternal (49 percent) twins. Additional factors, such as possible associations with other health conditions were also examined, including the relationship between acne and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), anxiety and asthma.

“There is some suggestion that factors other than genetics may contribute to acne severity. As was demonstrated in our study and others, people genetically predisposed to acne can reduce the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates to help keep acne on the mild side. Using cosmetics that are non-comodegenic can also help reduce acne severity," dermatologist Elma Baron, MD, professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University and chief of dermatology at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, said in a release.

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