"Good" Strain of Bacteria May Help Prevent Acne
Have Acne? “Bad” Acne Bacteria Might Be the Culprit: A New Study Shows!
The presence of good and bad bacteria could be the reason for some individuals who often get affected by acne while others live relatively acne-free, according to a new study by the University of California, Los Angeles. Research shows that there are different strains of acne bacteria, which either cause acne or aid in having clear skin.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition that affects 40 to 50 million people in the United States, mostly affecting young adults. Acne is usually treated with topical creams and oral medications such as antibiotics.
"We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples—one strain may help keep skin healthy," principal investigator Huiying Li, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a press release. "We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start, and enable dermatologists to customize treatment to each patient's unique cocktail of skin bacteria."
Li and her team examined the bacterial strains on people's faces, in a study, using genomic analysis of microbial DNA. They discovered the acne-causing bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes. Li said that P. acnes works almost like the bacteria in yogurt that protects the intestines from harmful bacteria.
In a study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the scientists studied 49 subjects with acne and 52 subjects with clear skin. They used over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips to analyze the bacterial strains on top of their noses. More than 1,000 strains were discovered within P. acnes bacteria. The scientists sequenced the DNA of 66 of the P. acnes strains. While sequencing the genomes of each strain, they found 2 unique strains of P. acnes in 1 out of 5 subjects with acne but those strains were not present in the subjects with healthy skin. Also, researchers found a third strain that mostly appeared in those with healthy skin but not in those with acne.
Li said, "Our next step will be to investigate whether a probiotic cream can block bad bacteria from invading the skin and prevent pimples before they start."