Genetic study of people with acne raises prospect of new treatmentRuth Mabhiza
Researchers think differences in hair follicle shape may increase risk of condition
The world’s first genetic study of people with acne has raised the prospect of new treatments for those with severe cases of the skin condition.
The study of almost 27,000 people, including 5,602 with severe acne, identified genetic differences that were more common in people with the skin condition. Scientists found that many of the genetic variants influenced the formation of hair follicles, which was previously an unknown risk factor for the condition. The researchers think that differences in the shape of hair follicles may make some people’s skin more prone to harbour bacteria, creating the conditions for acne.
Prof Jonathan Barker, a consultant dermatologist who led the study, said there had been few advances in acne treatment for decades.
“Applying these genetic approaches to acne has never been done before, and it’s a significant leap forward,” he said. “When you have insight into the genetic basis of a condition, you can develop much more effective treatments.” He said that it was important to be able to treat people earlier and more effectively so that they are not left with scars after the condition has gone.
Acne is a common skin condition affecting 80% of people aged 11-30, causing spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that is hot or painful to touch. In severe cases it can cause significant discomfort and distress and can lead to permanent scarring.
The most effective current treatment for acne is isotretinoin (Roaccutane), but the research team said this has “significant” side-effects including muscle aches and dry skin as well as birth defects if taken by pregnant women.
The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
Creative Commons Disclosure
About The Mandatory Training Group
The Mandatory Training Group is the leading UK provider of accredited healthcare and social care statutory and mandatory training courses, programs and qualifications.
Click on the links below to find out more about our infection prevention and control training courses, programs and qualifications:
- CSTF Aligned Health and safety training courses.
- Online Clinical skills development training courses.
- Accredited Safeguarding people at risk training courses.