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J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Dec 9. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12200. [Epub ahead of print]

Salty and spicy food; are they involved in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris? A case controlled study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2Clinical Nutrition Department, National Nutrition Institute, Cairo, Egypt.



Many studies have suggested a strong relation between diet and acne. Many patients with acne believe that spicy and salty foods exacerbate acne.


To assess the relationship between the dietary intake of salty and spicy food and the onset, severity, duration of acne.


Two hundred patients with acne vulgaris and 200 age- and gender-matched controls were subjected to a detailed questionnaire taking, clinical examination and dietary assessment through using "24 h recall" method. Sodium content of the 24-h food intake was computed by a computer program connecting participants' dietary information to the food composition table of National Nutrition Institute data base.


Patients with acne consumed significantly higher daily amounts of sodium chloride (NaCl) (median 3367.54 mg) compared to the controls (median 2271.8 mg) (P < 0.001). A negative correlation between the amount of NaCl in the diet of patients with acne and the age of onset of acne lesions was detected (r = -0.216, P = 0.031). However, neither salty nor spicy food correlated with duration or severity of the disease.


Consumption of salty foods was significantly higher among patients with acne compared to acne free subjects, making the consumption of salty food a possible participating factor in the development of acne.

© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


acne; diet; sodium chloride; spicy food

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