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SUMMARY

An in vitro study of the oxidation of squalene, and a description of factors acting on this transformation are presented. Thin layer chromatography was used to quantify the products generated by different oxidation processes. The results clearly show that squalene is a highly effective oxygen-scavenging agent. Its oxidation may first induce comedogenesis and, as a secondary event, cause a large reduction in oxygen tension in the human pilo-sebaceous duct. Porphyrins were confirmed to be highly efficient catalytic factors in the squalene oxidation process. The relationships between comedogenesis, bacterial colonization, and the role of sebum in the pathogenesis of acne are discussed in the light of these findings.