Ann Dermatol.  2019 Aug;31(4):426-433. 10.5021/ad.2019.31.4.426.

The Difference in Sebum Secretion Affecting Development of Acne

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju, Korea.


Although sebum secretion is crucial for acne development, acne lesion distribution is not always similar to the topographic differences of sebum secretion.
To analyze whether sebum secretion affects acne development and distribution and to assess other factors possibly influencing the relationship between acne and sebum secretion.
This single-center retrospective study included 67 acne patients and 50 controls. Acne patients were divided into 3 groups based on acne lesion distribution: T-zone dominant, U-zone dominant, and mixed groups. The secreted sebum level in each zone of acne patients was compared with that of controls. We also conducted correlation analysis between secreted sebum level and acne number, depending on the facial zone.
No significant difference was found between acne patients and controls regarding age and sex ratio. The U-zone dominant group showed increased sebum levels compared with controls in the U-zone and whole face, but a similar result was not obtained in the T-zone dominant group. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between the number of lesions and secreted sebum level in the U-zone, but not in the T-zone. Further, there was a more significant relation in the U-zone of male and young patients.
We found that increased sebum secretion compared with the condition may affect acne development, especially in the U-zone. Sex and age may also influence the relationship between acne and increased sebum secretion. Acne lesion distribution may vary from patient to patient because sebum secretion affects acne differently depending on multiple factors.


Acne vulgaris; Sebum
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