Acne vulgaris or acne is a chronic skin infection that affects up to 80% of adolescents. Many factors cause acne: a high rate of cell proliferation, excess sebum and the presence of the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes. Acne can be treated with antibiotics, although the increase of antibiotic resistance means we may well need more efficient therapies that cause fewer side effects.
Three microorganisms can generally be found on healthy facial skin: Propionibacterium, Staphylococcus and Malassezia. These three microorganisms are present both on the skin’s surface and in the follicles (where the inflammatory reaction, leading up to the development of acne, takes place). The bacteria play a role in the development of acne, although it is unclear whether they are the only ones.
We know that Propionibacterium is the dominant microorganism in acne lesions. Researchers suspect this bacterium to be an important triggering agent for acne. The presence of Propionibacterium acnes significantly increases during puberty when hormonal changes stimulate natural sebum production.
Acne is characterised by swollen sebaceous glands in the hair follicles. Propionibacterium acnes grows in the fatty microenvironment of the hair follicle. As a reaction to the swelling or the infection, the bacterium produces inflammatory substances that result in papules, pustules and cysts.
Propionibacterium acnes resistance
Antibiotics are still the most commonly prescribed treatment of acne vulgaris. Although their exact workings are not yet clear, they are expected to focus on extinguishing the dominant microorganism Propionibacterium acnes. Yet researchers presume it is the anti-inflammatory nature of the drugs that ensures clinical results. The antibiotics most frequently used are erythromycin, clindamycin, doxycycline and minocycline.
Although these organisms are sensitive to antibiotics, an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant Propionibacterium acnes strains have been reported in many countries around the world since the 1970s. They now often show resistance to erythromycin, clindamycin, roxithromycin and to erythromycin. Failure to respond to treatment with the corresponding antibiotic is a global problem.
If we want to prevent the rise of antibiotic resistance, the use of antibiotics as a first choice should be re-evaluated.
YUN’s unique cream for spots
Yun has developed a skin friendly acne cream with a new unique formulation. The cosmetic cream contains three livingLactobacillus strains that have been specifically selected in order to compete with Propionibacterium acnes,Staphylococcus and Malassezia in a natural way. The cream combats the bacterial infection without harming the body and cannot cause antibiotic resistance. The cream contains no preservatives whatsoever and is gentle to the skin and its microbiome.
- Thomsen, M., Lomholt, H. B., & Kilian, M. (2008). Acne is not associated with yet-uncultured bacteria. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46(10), 3355–60.
- Numata, S., Akamatsu, H., Akaza, N., Yagami, A., Nakata, S., & Matsunaga, K. (2014). Analysis of facial skin-resident microbiota in Japanese acne patients. Dermatology (Basel, Switzerland), 228(1), 86–92.