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December 1970

Prevalence of Nodulocystic Acne in White and Negro Males

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. Dr. Voorhees is a Carl Herzog Fellow of the American Dermatological Association.

Arch Dermatol. 1970;102(6):631-634. doi:10.1001/archderm.1970.04000120049008

The possibility of racial variation in the prevalence of acne was investigated in white and Negro male prisoners aged 15 to 21. Five percent of 893 white inmates, compared with 0.5% of 753 Negro inmates, had nodulocystic (grade 3 and 4) acne, demonstrating a significantly increased prevalence in whites. The white inmates more frequently had grade 4 cystic lesions, but the anatomic distribution (face, back, chest, and neck) of aH acne lesions was similar in inmates of either race with nodulocystic acne. Racial variation in the prevalence of acne and the concordance of acne in identical twins support clinical observations that acne may have a genetic component. Acne may be another polygenic disease, dependent upon multiple gene products, with whites having an increased frequency of acne-producing alleles in their gene pool.