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Does staphylococci play a role in acne?

Clues are emerging that Staphylococcus species may be contributors to acne vulgaris, according to a new study that examined changes in the skin microbiota of acne patients undergoing topical treatment.

Comparing topical antibiotic treatment for acne with a novel cosmetic formulation, Brigitte Dreno, MD, PhD, and her colleagues found that normal skin had fewer surface staphylococci than did skin with comedones or papulopustular eruptions (P = .004 for comedones; P = .003 for papules and pustules). Further, the number of staphylococci increased as acne severity increased (P less than .05 for the increase seen between scores of GEA-2 and GEA-3 on the Global Acne Severity Scale).

These results were seen in a split-face study of 26 adults with mild to moderate acne (GEA-2 and GEA-3) that compared a topical 4% erythromycin gel to a “dermocosmetic” containing lipohydroxy, linoleic, and salicylic acids, niacinamide, piroctone olamine, a ceramide, and water from a thermal spring. Each patient used each product on half of his or her face for 28 consecutive days while avoiding use of other skin care products or topical medications during the study period (Exp Dermatol. 2017;26[9]:798-803; doi: 10.1111/exd.13296).

Patients’ acne severity was assessed at days 0, 14, and 28 using the GEA scale, together with a count of inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions. The mean GEA grade for patients at enrollment was 2.4. For each patient, skin microbiota samples were obtained from an area with comedones, an area with papulopustular lesions, and an unaffected area.

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About Dr. J. Kim

Dr Kim developed (and is continuing to develop) dermatology research news as we way from dermatologists to stay on top of the latest advances in the field of dermatology.

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