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19-01-2012 | Article

Overweight teenage girls more likely to have acne


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MedWire News: Adolescent girls have an increased chance of developing acne if they are overweight, a survey of Norwegian teens shows.

This is the first time a link between weight and acne has been shown in teens, say the researchers, who call for more research into the issue.

The survey was conducted by Dr Jon Anders Halvorsen and co-workers at Oslo University, who obtained information on over 3500 18- and 19-year-olds.

All of the teens were generally healthy. However, around one in eight said they had acne (defined as lots of pimples in the previous week) and about the same proportion was classified as overweight

Dr Halvorsen and team calculated that girls who were overweight were twice as likely to have acne as girls who were of healthy weight. This association was not explained by other factors known to cause acne, the researchers note.

Interestingly, however, overweight boys were no more likely to have acne than their normal-weight counterparts.

Dr Halvorsen and colleagues, writing in the Archives of Dermatology, note that previous studies have found a link between weight and acne in much younger children (aged 6-11 years) as well as in adults.

However, this is the first study to identify such a link in adolescents, which is the age group most affected by acne.

They write: "Given the importance of this common skin problem, along with the increasing prevalence of both overweight and obesity in children and adolescents, further exploration is warranted into the association between BMI [body mass index] and acne in this age group."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Joanna Lyford