Zits may be zapped by 'good' skin bacteria
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), along with those at Washington University in St Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute have discovered that acne bacteria contain "bad" strains associated with pimples and "good" strains that may protect the skin.
"We learned that not all acne bacteria trigger pimples -
one strain may actually help keep skin healthy," said lead author Huiying Li.
"We hope to apply our findings to develop new strategies that stop blemishes before they start, and enable dermatologists to customise treatment to each patient's unique cocktail of skin bacteria," Li said in a statement.
The scientists looked at a tiny microbe: Propionibacterium acnes, bacteria that thrive in the oily depths of our pores.
When the bacteria aggravate the immune system, they cause the swollen, red bumps associated with acne.
Using over-the-counter pore-cleansing strips, researchers lifted P acnes bacteria from the noses of 49 pimply and 52 clear-skinned volunteers.
After extracting the microbial DNA from the strips, Li's laboratory tracked a genetic marker to identify the bacterial strains in each volunteer's pores and recorded whether the person suffered from acne.
Next, they cultured the bacteria from the strips to isolate more than 1,000 strains. Washington University scientists sequenced the genomes of 66 of the P acnes strains, enabling UCLA co-first author Shuta
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