More on the Confidence Crusher

Everyone, at some point or another, has awakened to the dreadful sign of a new zit  emerging. It's a terrible feeling and once it is there in all it's red, pimply glory, people tend to try to hide it or hide out until it's gone. As a sufferer of mild to moderate acne, new research on acne always interests me and gives me a sense of hope for new treatments and future generations of sufferers.
A UCLA study conducted with researchers at the University of Washington in St. Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute found both "bad" strains of bacteria that cause acne and "good" strains that may protect it. Every study can lead to a breakthrough, but this particular study caught my eye not necessarily for the content, but due to the intentions of the principal investigator. Huiying Li, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA reported the following: "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." When a researcher's intentions are so clear-cut and innovative, I think he deserves his own fan-base. Anyway, the results of the study were eye-opening and potentially helpful for the cause.
With the use of pore cleansing strips, microbial DNA (P. acnes bacteria) was extracted from the noses of 52 clear-skinned participants and 49 acne sufferers. They then used technology to isolate over 1,000 strains of bacteria. They found that the strains of the diseased (acne-ridden skin) looked very different than those of the clear-skinned individuals. Also, two unique strains of bacteria appeared in 1/5 of the acne participants, but none of the clear-skinned individuals. The most helpful results of the research resulted from finding a third strain of bacteria found mainly in healthy skinned individuals. Researchers think that increasing this strain in acne sufferers through cream or lotion could help treat them. It is very possible that this strain is what is in charge of protecting the skin from breakouts. I wonder if this "good" strain kills or fights the harmful bacteria or if it acts as a balancing mechanism. Regardless, it seems that those who have too little or none of the bacteria seem prone to breakouts. Eventually, researchers might find a way to make individuals' bodies produce more of this bacteria on their own through a pill or injection. Hopefully the use of topical treatments will spike the body's own natural production of the bacteria if it's already present. I am curious as to how they will make these creams, what the side-effects might be, what balance of other ingredients/medications might be used, and how effective the treatment will be. Overall, I think this was an extremely effective study and one the population might benefit greatly from.


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