The cause of acne is constantly being studied by dermatologists and medical experts every day to find new remedies. Aside from a lack of a skincare regimen, it is known that acne can be causes by certain bacteria, which can infect hair follicles underneath the skin and cause acne lesions.
Bacteria That Causes Acne
The type of bacteria that is associated with causing acne is called Propionibacterium acnes, or simply P. acnes. P. acnes starts colonizing the hair follicles and sebaceous glands underneath the surface of skin, mainly on the face and upper torso, typically one to three years prior to sexual maturity (during puberty). During this time, the number of P. acnes strains grows exponentially in the heavily oiled parts of the hair follicles, infecting the sebaceous gland, causing inflammation that can lead to acne papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.*
Four out of five Americans between the ages of 12 and 24 suffer from acne lesions on their skin, typically brought on by puberty. And though P. acnes bacteria is said to be a cause, modern research suggests that genetics dictates whether or not strains of the P. acnes can actually lead to acne or help curb its production. A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, The Genome Institute at Washington University in Saint Louis and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute conducted an extensive study of acne-causing bacteria. They found, as they reported in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, that out of the 11,000 known strains of P. acnes, most were associated with unhealthy skin whereas some had the ability to actually help fend off acne.**
How to Fend Off Bacteria
There are certain ways to protect yourself from harsh strands of the P. acnes bacteria. Just remember, these ways are not proven to work for everybody, and it is important to consult a dermatologist before pursuing such treatments. The following three home treatments may help destroy the bacteria that can lead to acne growth:***
- Wash your face with an antibacterial soap for sensitive skin. It is important not to use a harsh scrub on your skin, which can further irritate your skin, worsening the condition of acne.
- Mix baking soda and water together to make a paste, and apply it to your skin. This can help remove dead skin and acne-causing bacteria from deep within your pores.
- Apply a low-concentration benzoyl peroxide cream to your face, which has the ability to kill most if not all, in some cases, strains of P. acnes.
All Summed Up…
The primary type of bacteria that causes acne is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), and though more research is constantly being conducted on the intricacies of its relationship with skin, it is important to note that genetics may play a huge role in its effectiveness.
As always, there is more to learn, so check out our extensive clear skin articles. Also, to find the acne skin care program that is right for you, complete our free questionnaire, and you will be on your way to healthy, beautiful skin!