Research Round-Up — Adult Acne & Using Pics to Triage Post-Op Patients

Happy Monday readers! After taking a quick break after Thanksgiving, it’s time for Research Round-Up again. Thanks for coming back to read my morning segment on the latest Dermatology research. Today I’m writing about two articles that caught my eye. One is about the risk factors that are associated with developing adult female acne and the other is about using patient photographs to triage concerns after Mohs surgery. Acne is a common problem, and there are modifiable risk factors that may help lessen acne severity. As for the other article, this is yet another example of technology paving the way for better patient care in Dermatology. Keep reading to get the full scoop.

dermatology research roundup featured-image

Risk Factors Associated with Adult Female Acne

For many women, adult acne is the bane of their existence. Even women who had perfectly clear skin through their teenage years can develop adult acne. Doctors don’t know exactly what triggers it, but new research suggests there are risk factors for developing adult acne later on in life.


A study out of Italy found that certain characteristics are associated a higher likelihood of having adult acne. (1) The investigators enrolled 248 women with adult acne and 270 women without acne for their study.

They found that family history of acne in parents or siblings, personal history of acne during adolescence, presence of hirsutism, never being pregnant, and working in an office were associated with adult acne. Housewives and unemployed women can rejoice in knowing that they develop less adult acne.

Not surprisingly, they found that other lifestyle factors were associated with increased acne. High levels of psychological stress and diets low in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish were associated with increased adult acne. These are modifiable risk factors that can be changed in people suffering from adult acne. Like I’ve written in the past, high glycemic index diets (think high carb) may lead to acne.

insulin-igf1-androgens-sebum-production diet cause acne

However, there are limitations to this study. This is a case-control study meaning that subjects with acne (the cases) were compared to subjects without acne (the controls). This type of study does not support a causal role for the risk factors and adult acne. It merely represents associations between having these risk factors and adult acne.

Patients Prefer Photographs to Address Concerns after Post-Operative Visits

Doctors at the University of Texas in Dallas wanted to improve the patient experience after Mohs surgery. (2) Mohs surgery is used to remove skin cancers with the smallest margins possible. Like with any surgery, sometimes patients have concerns or complications.


The doctors decided to allow patients who were calling in with a post-op concern to provide a photograph of their surgical site. The patients were offered an in-person visit, but most chose to send in a picture. Of 50 patients who called in with a concern during the study period, 43 provided additional photographs. These patients who provided pictures were overwhelmingly pleased with the experience.

They also realized how much more convenient sending a picture was than having to visit the doctor in person. They liked the rapid access to the care they needed. They also like having their concerns alleviated by knowing that their doctor had reviewed their images. Technology wins again!

Have you seen any interesting Dermatology research articles lately? Send me a message so I can feature it in the future!


  1. Di landro A, Cazzaniga S, Cusano F, et al. Adult female acne and associated risk factors: Results of a multicenter case-control study in Italy. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;75(6):1134-1141.e1.
  2. Jeyamohan SR, Moye MS, Srivastava D, Nijhawan RI. Patient-Acquired Photographs for the Management of Postoperative Concerns. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;

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One thought on “Research Round-Up — Adult Acne & Using Pics to Triage Post-Op Patients

  • Emma

    I’ve suffered from acne for almost 20 years (I’m 34) and 6 weeks after using dermalmd acne serum, I finally have clear skin….for the first time in 20 years!!!!! I can’t recommend this serum enough!! It only took a couple weeks to start seeing results, but now 6 weeks in it’s consistent and everything from my last breakout has completely healed and stayed looking great. I use it once every morning and night. My skin is so soft…it’s not oily at all and feels and smells great too! If you’re like me and have tried everything without results, give dermalmd serum a try!