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Paper of the day - Smoking linked to acne

"Smoker's acne" is a new clinical entity, say dermatologists.

Researchers at the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute in Rome, Italy, observed a specific form of acne, characterised by blocked pores and large blackheads - but fewer inflamed spots than typical acne – and particularly affecting adult female smokers.

They explored the link by carrying out a study of 1000 women aged 25 to 50 and found that 42 percent of smokers had acne compared to only one in ten non-smokers.

Non-inflammatory acne (NIA) was particularly prominent in smokers.

Adult acne tends to be predominantly inflammatory but in this study 91% of smokers who had acne had NIA.

In non-smokers with acne, most was inflammatory and was always mild-to-moderate as opposed to severe in three-quarters of those women with NIA

The authors say: ‘In some subjects the severity of acne, the clinical peculiarities, the strong correlation with smoking, and the biochemical data could lead to NIA being considered as a new entity among smoking-related cutaneous diseases, called smoker's acne face.'

Dr Colin Holden, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: ‘This study also shows an interesting link between a specific type of acne and smoking. All of these findings will hopefully provide people with an extra incentive to quit.'

British Journal of Dermatology online early 18 September

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