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The Best of the Best
June 2010

Top-Accessed Article: Acne Vulgaris

Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(6):604. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.64

Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton S, Brand-MillerJ. Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(6):696-701.

The article by Cordain and colleagues is an observational study that evaluates 2 isolated nonwesternized populations: the Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea and the Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, who have a lack of acne. Dietary limitations are the only control. The glycemic index of their diets is substantially lower than that of a Western diet. Their genetic backgrounds are similar to those of other South American Indians and Pacific Islanders, who live in more westernized settings and have a considerably higher incidence of acne.

These results have helped to spark new interest in the relationship between diet and acne. However, dietary advice has not been incorporated into the mainstream standard of care for the treatment of acne. Certainly, it is not recommended as monotherapy. Until we have prospective, randomized, well-controlled studies, we will not fully understand the efficacy of dietary interventions.

From June 2004 through August 2009, this article was viewed 4268 times on the Archives of Dermatology Web site.

Contact Dr Stein Gold at the Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan (lstein1@hfhs.org).