TORRANCE, Calif. -- Local researchers hope that they have stumbled onto a safe and highly effective cure for acne, thanks to years of studying why some people get zits and others don't. The secret may lie in the distribution of acne-causing and acne-preventing types of bacteria living in the deep recesses of our pores.
For the past four years, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles; LA BioMed near Torrance and Washington University have meticulously mapped microbial DNA strands extracted from the pores of 49 acne sufferers and 52 people with clear skin. Their results were published Thursday in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
"We found several strains that were almost exclusively found in acne patients," said Noah Craft, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute researcher. "We think that those strains are causing acne. Then we found another strain primarily found in healthy people."
Dermatologists have long known that Propionibacterium acne, or P. acne, bacteria cause acne. But this is the first time a bacterium has been found that might actually prevent acne, Dr. Craft said.
Current acne treatments concentrate on killing all the bacteria on the skin. Dr. Craft said the new research shows that it may be more important to introduce good types of bacteria to the face while also killing the bad.