Acne Vulgaris Is Associated With Low Serum Vitamin D Levels

blood test
blood test
Serum levels of vitamin D were evaluated in a representative sample of patients with acne were compared with matched healthy control patients.

Patients with acne vulgaris have significantly low serum vitamin D levels, according to findings from a  study published in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology.

A total of 68 patients with acne vulgaris (27 men, mean age 20.7 ± 3.8; 41 women, mean age 21.3 ± 3.6) and 50 matched healthy control participants (24 men, mean age 39.8 ± 11.8; 26 women, mean age 37.7 ± 14.85) were included in the cross-sectional study. The researchers measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D] levels in the patients and healthy control participants. No participants had takentaken any vitamin D supplementation and none had a comorbidity or complication of vitamin D deficiency.

The investigators found lower levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in patients with acne vulgaris than in the healthy control participants, a statistically significant difference (P = .003). They observed no significant variation in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level regarding age, gender, and sun exposure. Also, no significant difference in  the severity of acne and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels was found.

“Our results showed that there was no relationship between sun exposure and improvement in vitamin D readings in patients with acne vulgaris (P = .546 between positive and negative sun exposure in acne vulgaris patients),” stated the study authors. “This can be explained by several factors, such as the impact of psychological distress on their avoidance of spending extended periods outdoors. This suggests a possible explanation of low vitamin D levels in patients with acne vulgaris.”

Further, larger clinical trials are needed to address the importance of vitamin D in acne vulgaris, according to the researchers.

“This study revealed statistically significant low serum vitamin D levels in patients with acne vulgaris,” the investigators concluded. “This highlights the importance of screening patients with acne for vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency.”


Alhetheli G, Ibrahim Abd Elneam A, Alsenaid A, Al-Dhubaibi M. Vitamin D levels in patients with and without acne and its relation to acne severity: A case-control study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2020;13:759-765.