Background  Acne vulgaris is a multifactorial disease of the skin. Several studies have shown that elevated levels of serum insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) correlate with overproduction of sebum and acne. Recently functional relationship between IGF-I (CA) polymorphism and circulating IGF-I levels in adults has been reported.

Aims  The aim of our study was to investigate for the first time whether IGF-I (CA) polymorphism might be involved in the pathogenesis of acne or not.

Methods  We included 115 acne patients and 117 healthy subjects to the study. The clinical grade of acne was assessed based on the Global Acne Grading System. Participants were questioned about diabetes mellitus, PCOS and other systemic disease. We searched for the IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism in this study. The IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism was performed by polymerase chain reaction.

Results  We categorized the IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism area into three groups as lower than 192 bp, 192–194 bp and higher than 194 bp. We found that the frequency of genotype IGF-1 (CA) 19 gene was significantly different between control and acne patients (P = 0.0002). A significant association between IGF-I (CA) genotypes and severity of acne was found (P = 0.015). No significant difference was found between male and female patients (P > 0.05).

Conclusions  Our results suggest that IGF-I (CA) 19 polymorphism may contribute to a predisposition to acne in Turkish patients.