The concentration of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and their metabolites in plasma phospholipids were measured by gas chromatography in normal individuals, and in patients with ichthyosis vulgaris, acne vulgaris or psoriasis. In all three patient groups, concentrations of arachidonic acid (20:4 omega 6) and docosapentaenoic acid (22:5 omega 6) were significantly below those in controls, suggesting that these abnormalities may occur in many skin diseases. Concentrations of dihomogammalinolenic acid (20:3 omega 6) were low in ichthyosis, normal in acne and elevated in psoriasis. Thus ichthyosis, acne and psoriasis each had a characteristic pattern of EFA metabolites.
Grattan C, Burton JL, Manku M, Stewart C, Horrobin DF