Study Sheds New Light on Why Some People Get Zits and Others Don't

In some cases, acne bacteria might even protect the skin

Today's issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology witnessed the publication of a new study claiming to have found an explanation for why some people get zits and others are lucky enough to never have to deal with this problem.

The researchers who took the time to investigate this issue claim that, according to their findings, the acne bacteria present on virtually everybody's skin can be either “good guys” or “bad guys.”

More precisely, these specialists say that, while some acne bacteria contain so-called bad strains that can cause the individual to develop pimples, another type of acne bacteria contain good strains which, besides not allowing zits to grow, also help protect the skin.

The specialists reached these conclusions after analyzing the acne bacteria present on the noses of a total of 101 volunteers.

49 of the individuals taken into consideration for this research presented with pimples, whereas the remainder 52 had a relatively clear skin.

What interested these specialists first and foremost was a tiny microbe known to the scientific community as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes, for short).

Thus, most of their work revolved around analyzing various strains of the P. acnes.

EurekAlert! quotes Dr. Noah Craft, who explained how, “We were interested to learn that the bacterial strains looked very different when taken from diseased skin, compared to healthy skin. Two unique strains of P. acnes appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people.”

Furthermore, “We were extremely excited to uncover a third strain of P. acnes that's common in healthy skin yet rarely found when acne is present. This P. acnes strain may protect the skin, much like yogurt's live bacteria help defend the gut from harmful bugs.”

Presently, the researchers are looking into the possibility of using the information collected in this matter in order to develop a probiotic cream that might protect the skin against bad bacteria.

“We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples — one strain may help keep skin healthy. 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,” argued specialist Huiying Li.

Hot right now  ·  Latest news