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April 1976

Acne and Hidden Iodides

Author Affiliations

New Brunswick, NJ

Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(4):555-556. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630280073026

To the Editor.—  Kelp, the unmasked culprit of iodide-induced myxedema,1 has worked its villainies on our dermatology clinic patients.Two teenagers with mild, untreated, comedonal acne developed crops of abscess-like inflammatory pustules and papulonodules on the face, neck, shoulders, and back. One had been recently introduced to daily kelp tablets as part of her mother's program for weight control; the other had started taking kelp-containing "natural vitamins" in an effort to "feel better." Both youngsters' skins cleared within several weeks after they stopped taking the seaweed supplement.Another unexpected source of considerable amounts of iodides appears to be the food from America's fast-service snack establishments, according to a feature article in Consumer Reports (40:278, 1975). The syndrome recently described as "McDonald's acne" was attributed to contact with hot cooking oils and grease2; the condition may actually be due to the ready availability of this high-iodide diet to the