Patients With Acne Have Lower Serum Levels of Vitamin D

blood test
blood test
Findings suggest that testing serum 25-OH vitamin D levels may be useful laboratory work in patients with acne and supplementation may eventually be considered as an adjunct or alternative treatment.

Patients with acne may have lower levels of serum 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25-OH vitamin D) compared with people without acne, but whether vitamin D supplementation benefits acne outcomes remains unclear, according to  study research published in Dermatologic Therapy.

A total of 134 patients with acne (mean age, 20.11±2.92 years) and 129 sex- and age-matched healthy control patients (mean age, 20.27±3.17) were enrolled in this single-center study. Global Acne Grading Scale (GAGS) scores were used to assess the severity of acne vulgaris in all patients, whereas serum 25-OH vitamin D levels were measured in all participants. Vitamin D statuses were based on serum cut-off values and included vitamin D deficient (≤20 ng/mL), vitamin D insufficient (21-29 ng/mL), and vitamin D sufficient (≥30 ng/mL).

Compared with control participants, patients with acne had significantly lower serum 25-OH vitamin D levels (P <.001). In addition, there was a significantly higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (≤20 ng/mL) in patients with acne vs the non-acne control group (77.6% vs 63.9%, respectively; P =.041). Vitamin D deficiency was higher in patients with severe acne (93.8%) and very severe acne (100%) compared with patients with mild (0%) and moderate (6.7%) acne. A negative-strong significant association was observed between serum 25-OH vitamin D levels and GAGS scores in those with acne (P <.001; r= -0.910).

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A limitation of this study was the lack of vitamin D supplementation and the assessment of this supplementation on acne lesions.

Although this study did not determine whether supplementation can benefit acne outcomes, the researchers said “performing serum 25-OH vitamin D levels in especially severe acne patients may be considered as a routine laboratory work.”


Kemeriz F, Tuncer SÇ, Acar EM, Ayanoğlu BT. Evaluation of 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels and disease severity in patients with acne vulgaris [published online April 8, 2020]. Dermatol Ther. doi: 10.1111/dth.13393