hero image

The University of California-San Diego has found a cure that could permanently resolve acne. The researchers discovered that skin cells have a chemical that suppresses bacteria that cause acne.

The researchers state that acne is a common problem in the U.S, with 50 million people dealing with the condition annually. Despite this, few studies have investigated its cause and cure. One of the few things scientists know about acne is that the hair follicles in the skin cause it. However, this study found that the skin surrounding the follicles plays a more significant role. This skin could prevent acne.

According to Dr. Richard Gallo, a dermatology professor at the university, the findings could change how doctors treat acne. The previous treatment was based on the knowledge that hair follicles played the most crucial role in developing acne. However, this study indicates that the skin around the follicles is more critical.

How fibroblasts prevent acne

The skin cells around the hair follicles are fibroblasts. They are connective tissues that are throughout the body. Fibroblasts on the skin produce cathelicidin, an antimicrobial that could fight bacteria and thus prevent acne.

When bacteria start to accumulate in a hair follicle, reactive adipogenesis occurs. This process involves the fibroblasts turning into fat cells. They also produce cathelicidin that prevents breakout from acne.

Another study author and project scientist at the School of Medicine at UC San Diego, Alan O’Neill, explains their surprise at their finding. He states that the company conducted the study to determine the role that fibroblasts play in the skin. They also hoped to understand acne.

The team was shocked when they realized that the fibroblasts produced a chemical that suppressed the growth of bacteria. Cathelicidin was incredibly potent against Cutibacterium acnes, a bacteria known to cause the condition.

How retinoids treat acne

Retinoids, which scientists derive from Vitamin A, are typically used to treat acne. While they are highly effective, researchers didn’t understand why they worked. For the study, the team took skin biopsies of people who used the chemical. They realized that retinoids increased the skin’s cathelicidin production, thus their efficacy.