Good Bacteria May Offer Hope for Acne Sufferers

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It’s a problem that plagues teenagers, but acne can leave people of all ages scarred for life.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting 80 percent of Americans at some point in their lives… but UCLA researchers have come across a major breakthrough in the quest for clearer skin, and a cure could be around the corner.

Did you know that acne-causing bacteria lives on everyone’s skin?

So, how is it that some complexions are lucky enough to avoid those problematic pimples while others… aren’t?

Well, that same question has helped local experts uncover what could be the secret weapon in the battle against blemishes.

“I am the most self-conscious person about my acne, video blogger Cassandra Bankson.

When 14-year-old video blogger Cassandra Bankson braved her bare face for her YouTube followers, her complexion confession went viral.

“I’m going to show you guys what my face looks like without makeup:  this is my face.”

“This is probably the most nerve-wracking thing that I’ve ever done because it’s my biggest insecurity, said Bankson.

For 19-year-old Jeffrey Shen…

“I didn’t really have high self-esteem,” said Shen.

His condition improved slightly over the years, but the obstacles were more than skin-deep.

“Sometimes I think it could make other people uncomfortable so I hesitate sometimes to join into social events,” said Shen.

No matter how severe or subtle… no matter how young or old… at any stage and any age, acne can be kryptonite for your confidence.

“Acne is most prevalent in teenagers, but still, about 11% of adults have acne,” Huiying Li, Ph.D.

But a dose of derm relief may be on the horizon for zit zappers everywhere thanks to a recent UCLA discovery.

“Bacteria is not necessarily all bad, “ said Li.

For years, the treatment to take down acne was centered on killing *all* bacteria on the skin.

But for the first time, researchers learned there is some bacteria that might actually help protect pores.

“In the people with clear skin we found a 3rd type of strain which are hardly found in any acne patients so we think this one is highly associated with clear skin,” said Li.

Experts now hope increasing the body’s ‘good bacteria’ can have sufferers saying bye-bye to blotches, for good.

“I think it could potentially change maybe the approach of the drugs hopefully so that they work and that’s really exciting,” said Shen.

More targeted research still needs to be done, but the UCLA team is working with companies to potentially develop a pro-biotic cream that could be sold over the counter within three years.

by Kimberly Cornell, KTLA News

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