BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Acne is a common skin disorder which can cause physical scaring and impact the quality of life. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence, severity and the risk factors for developing acne among medical students in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross sectional study among UKM medical students from academic year 1 to 5 was conducted from July 2011 to May 2012. A total of 361 students were selected by stratified cluster sampling method. Baseline data of the students, risk factors, height and weight were recorded. Acne severity was graded using the Comprehensive Acne Severity Scale (CASS).
RESULTS: The prevalence of acne among medical students is 68.1% (n=246). Males and females were almost equally affected (1:1.1). Majority students with acne were graded as almost clear (55.7%, n=137), mild (35.0%, n=86), moderate (7.7%, n=19), and severe (1.6%, n=4). More than half of them had developed acne scars (59.0%, n= 213). Males were found to be at higher risk of developing acne compared to females (p<0.05, OR=4.734; 95%CL=2.726-8.222). They are also at higher risk of developing moderate and severe grades of acne compared to females (p=0.001). The odds for developing acne was higher when mother (p=0.029; OR=1.752; 95%CL=1.058-2.902) or father (p=0.027; OR=1.852; 95%CL=1.072-3.201) had acne. When both parents were affected by acne the odds of developing acne was 3 times. (p=0.025; OR=3.056; 95%CL=1.153-8.094).
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the prevalence of acne among medical students is high. Hence, it is important to identify those at risk and provide optimal treatment to prevent scarring and possible low self esteem among these future doctors.
KEYWORDS: acne vulgaris; medical; prevalence; risk factors; severity; students
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.