The purpose of this study was to assess the roles of skin surface lipids and serum lipids in the pathogenesisof acne vulgaris. Sixty-seven young Japanese women with age and living conditions well matchcd, volunteered for the study, of thirty-six had acne, of thirty-one had not acne. In the skin surface lipids of the cheeks, those with showed higher levels of total lipid values, the percentage of free fatty acids, and the proportional contents of C12 and C14 in the total fatty acids, and lower level of C18, with statistically significant differences compared with the non-acnegroup. In the skin surface lipids of the scalp, the acne group showed significantly higher levels of the percentage offree fatty acids and the proportional constituents of C14 in the total fatty acids and significantly lower levels in the percentages of triglycerides. Serum lipids values showed no significant differences between the two groups. In theskin surface lipids of the scalp as well as the cheeks, the percentage of free fatty acids, and the sum of free fatty acids and triglycerides increased with the total lipid values. The roles of P. acnes and hormonal factors in the pathogenesis of acne, in correlation to skin surface lipids were given attention. While skin surface lipids are vital factors, they are probably not the initial and major factors involved in the occurrence of acne.
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