Research on Acne & Good / Bad Facial Bacteria

After doing some research, it has become clear that our faces are home to both harmful and beneficial bacteria. Harmful bacteria can cause infections and spots and the beneficial bacteria combats the harmful bacteria and keeps your skin clear and healthy.

I’ve been looking into a study done at UCLA whereby a series of experiments have been undertaken to investigate the strength of good bacteria  at combatting bad bacteria. They are hoping that the results of this test could lead to new methods for treating bad skin and acne. They claim that with more research dermatologists could customise treatment to each patients individual bacteria strains on their face, hopefully bringing an end to bad skin all together.

In order to conduct this study, they recruited 101 volunteers — 49 with spots and 52 clean-faced — to wash their faces and hand over their bacteria to the research team. The LABioMed and UCLA team then extracted the DNA from this bacteria and tracked a genetic marker to identify which bacteria were associated with those volunteers who suffer from acne and those who do not. This bacteria is called P.acnes and they found over 1,000 strains.

I find this particularly interesting as through our own research, we noticed that when samples were taken from spotty areas of skin, such as from the chin, slightly different bacteria was grown. I don’t know enough about it, but it’s something that we have really thought about when testing. If we have enough time, it would be great to do an agar face with a clear faced person’s bacteria and the bacteria of someone who suffers with bad acne. I wonder if the differences would be visible to the naked eye. When we were  looking at our jelly mould agar, you can see strange patches of strong pink bacteria which are formed in a completely different manner to the others – it is in thin strands piled on top of each other rather than in small circular blobs:

DSC04646 DSC04643

I did query as to whether they could be spot bacteria, but they appeared all over the agar – even though the bacteria spread around it were from various parts of the face, such as from the chin, ear and inside nose. I attempted to some research as to what this could be, Mark suggested it could be a form of fungus that could have been environmental rather than from our swabs.


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