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Acne-causing pathogen may be associated with body infections

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A common skin bacterium that has been linked to the development of acne may also cause infections of the heart valves, eyes, chest and joints, according to researchers from Aston University.

Scientists previously believed that the presence of this pathogen, known as P. acnes, arose from contamination of the skin following a surgical procedure. They thought that the bacterium was transferred into the open wound during an operation. However, more recent studies suggest that P. acnes is already contained within the body.

“It is important to recognize that this organism has the ability to grow slowly inside our body cells,” said researcher Peter Lambert. “It has long been associated with common acne, where it contributes to the inflammation and pain.”

The bacterium, which is typically treated with antibiotics, can result in the symptoms of classic acne on the face, chest and back. This condition, which often appears in adolescence, may not only make an individual self-conscious, but may also be associated with pain and scarring.

Acne laser treatment has been shown to be effective in improving the appearance of affected skin. By reducing the activity of sebaceous glands and killing bacteria, this therapy may be a good option for those who struggle with the condition.