|Sweat-eating bacteria may help treat acne.|
Acne vulgaris (or simply acne) is a common human skin disease, characterized by areas of seborrhea (scaly red skin), comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules (pinheads), nodules (large papules), pimples, and possibly scarring. Aside from scarring, its main effects are psychological, such as reduced self-esteem and in very extreme cases, depression or suicide. One study has estimated the incidence of suicidal ideation in patients with acne as 7.1%.
Now, a discovery of a sweat-eating bacteria may lead to better treatments for acne and serious wounds, according to a new study. Researchers found bacteria that eat ammonia, a major component of sweat, may improve skin health and could be used for the treatment of skin disorders. In the study, volunteers using the bacteria reported better skin condition compared with a control group. One group applied the live bacteria on their face and scalp for one week, while a second group used a placebo.
The volunteers did not use hair products during the first and second week and returned to their normal routine for the third week. Bacteria users reported improvements in skin condition compared with minimal or no improvement in the control group. There were no adverse events associated with use of the bacteria.