Serum Vitamin D Levels at Different Stages of Acne Vulgaris Patients Treated with Isotretinoin: A Prospective Study

Mohammed Al-Dhubaibi1, Ghadah Alhetheli2, *, Adel Alsenaid1, Ahmed Abd Elneam3, 4
1 Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Shaqra, Saudi Arabia
2 Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Shaqra University, Shaqra, Saudi Arabia
4 Human Genetics Division, National Research Centre, Giza, Egypt

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Al-Dhubaibi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, College of Medicine, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia; E-mail:



Acne vulgaris is a common chronic inflammatory skin disorder of pilosebaceous units. Isotretinoin (13-cis retinoic acid) is the most effective multifunctional treatment for moderate-to-severe and nodulocystic acne. Vitamin D plays a role in the immune system, and its deficiency might contribute to the pathogenesis of acne.


To investigate whether isotretinoin improves serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in acne vulgaris patients.


This prospective cohort study included 68 patients with acne vulgaris. Lipid profiles, liver function tests, and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25 (OH) D] levels were measured at baseline and three months after starting isotretinoin treatment.


There was a significant increase in serum vitamin D levels three months after starting isotretinoin treatment in mild acne patients (P=0.0003).


Vitamin D levels are altered in acne vulgaris. Isotretinoin therapy is associated with an increase in vitamin D levels, which was statistically significant in mild acne patients. Considering the role of vitamin D in acne, effective treatment with isotretinoin might highlight vitamin D as a possible target for acne therapy or as a biomarker for disease activity and remission.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris, Vitamin D, Vitamin D deficiency, Isotretinoin, Acne therapy, Isotretinoin therapy.