It is generally accepted that the severity of acne is correlated with facial sebum secretion. However, previous studies on the relation between seborrhoea and the development of acne did not consider topographical differences in facial sebum secretion and used relatively vague acne severity grading systems.
To elucidate the relation between topographical variations in facial sebum secretion and the severity of acne in women.
Forty-six female controls and 46 women with acne were included in this study. The Sebumeter was used to measure facial sebum secretion in the following facial areas: forehead, nose, chin, and right and left cheek. We counted noninflammatory comedones and inflammatory acne lesions in the same areas. We compared sebum secretion between patients with acne and controls, and analysed the relation between the quantity of sebum secreted and the number of acne lesions.
Sebum secretions in the whole face and in the T- and U-zones (areas of high and low sebum secretion, respectively) were higher in patients with acne than in controls. There was no correlation between sebum quantity and acne lesion count in most facial regions.
Increased levels of facial sebum secretion were observed in patients with acne. Our findings indicate that increased sebum levels do not directly cause development of acne lesions.