Watch Out: Acne may be more than a cosmetic problem

For all those who believe that acne is merely a cosmetic problem in adolescents, one that most kids should be able to handle with some over-the-counter meds, or, if necessary, one of the many prescription meds that can help control acne flare-ups, a recent fascinating prospective study published online in the International Journal of Cancer concluded that teenage acne may be a risk factor for – and please hold on to your seats here, folks – prostate cancer (PC).

In this study researchers analyzed health data on nearly a quarter of a million young Swedish army recruits (and I’ll bet most of you never knew that the Sweden even had an army and now that you do, you may also wonder what for) who had been conscripted during the 1970s and who were followed for over 36 years.

And the data indicates that those recruits who had had acne at the time of conscription at age 18 were significantly more likely to develop PC than men who had not been diagnosed with acne as teenagers

It is important to point out, however, that the vast majority of men diagnosed with PC had not had acne as teenagers.

In other words, acne may be a risk factor for PC but there are clearly many other factors that also play a role.

Anyway, bottom line (no pun intended) is that any male who had acne as a kid should be aware of its potential link to a higher risk for prostate cancer, something that might be taken into account about whether or not to get a screening test for PC.