Hope has been given to millions of acne sufferers as a new study suggests that the condition may be genetic.
In the first trial of its kind, researchers analyzed DNAs of more than 26,700 people – including thousands of fights for severe acne.
The results showed that there were significant genetic variations between people with the condition and those with clear skin.
Genes that control the hair follicles are believed to play a particularly critical role at the start of the common condition.
The researchers have called the study a "significant leap forward" and hope it will lead to more effective treatments that prevent permanent scarring.
The world's first study shows that acne can be genetic and related to a sufferer's hair follicles (file)
The study was conducted by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Center at Guys and St Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust in London.
Acne is a very common condition in teenagers and young adults, with about 80 percent of those aged 11-30 in the UK affected, according to NHS statistics.
About 85 percent of 12 to 24 years in the United States suffer to some extent, figures from the American Academy of Dermatology.
People are most likely to suffer in their teenagers, with symptoms generally disappearing when they reach their mid 20's. However, it may affect the adulthood.
Consultant dermatologist Professor Jonathan Barker and colleagues analyzed DNA of 26,772 people, of which 5,602 had acne.
The researchers found variants related to acne in 15 genetic sites, of which 12 were not previously identified.
They also discovered that many of the genetic variants associated with the skin condition affect the formation of the hair follicles.
Reduced hair follicle function is believed to encourage the colonization of acne-causing bacteria that leads to inflammation.
"The use of these genetic methods for acne has never been done before and it's a big leap forward," said Professor Barker.
Professor Barker hopes to understand the role of genetics in acne will lead to more effective treatments that focus on reducing inflammation and suppressing bacterial colonization.
"When you have an insight into the genetic basis of a condition, you can develop much more effective treatments," he said. "For people with acne it is so important to get more treatments available.
"We must treat people earlier and more effectively so that they do not get scared, even after the condition has come and gone." Scars affect up to 20 percent of patients.
The letter Nature Communications added the authors: "Acne can have serious emotional and psychological consequences and have been associated with depression, unemployment, suicidal thoughts and suicide.
The treatment regimes are often ineffective and poorly tolerated, and there is still a significantly unsaturated medical need. & # 39;
The study was a collaboration between Professor Barker's team and Professor Michael Simpson's genomic medicine group at King's College London.
Professor Simpson added: "A number of the genetic variants point to interesting mechanisms that could be really good targets for new drugs or treatments that would really help patients."
The researchers emphasize that there are additional genetic variants related to acne that have not been detected.
It is defined as stains and oily skin that may be red or painful. Although not fully understood, acne is considered to be caused by a combination of sebum, inflammation and bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that penetrates the hair follicles.
Acne treatment varies depending on how severe the condition is. NHS recommends that if a person only has a few blackheads, whiteheads or spots that they try over-the-counter creams containing benzoyl peroxide.
Benzoyl peroxide is an antiseptic agent that reduces the amount of bacteria on the skin, which should lower the number of black and whiteheads.
In more severe cases, topical retinoids may be prescribed, but these may cause birth defects and should not be taken during pregnancy. Antibiotics can be given together with creams and gels.
Hormonal therapies have been shown to be effective in women, especially if their acne is related to their hormones. One example is the controversial substance isotretinoin, which reduces the production of sebum and prevents follicles clogging.
Isotretinoin damages unborn children, and women must sign a form that confirms that they understand the risk and will use contraception, even if they are not sexually active.
People who experience extreme aggression or suicidal thoughts are also reported while taking isotretinoin. The NHS emphasizes that there are no signs that these mood swings are the result of the medicine.
WHAT IS CYSTIC ACNE?
Cystic acne – the most serious form of skin condition – occurs when oil and dead skin cells build deep into the hair follicles.
If these become infected, it may cause bullet-like spots.
Spots occur when a pore in the skin becomes clogged, usually with dead skin cells. If bacteria enter the pores, it may turn red and raised.
Cystic acne occurs when this infection goes deep into the skin, creating a sore bump that is full of pus.
If the cyst explodes, it can spread the infection and cause more break outs.
Disorders are normal in their teenagers or early 20's, but may be as young as eight or as old as 50 years. Cystic acne is more common in men.
The face, chest, back, upper arms and should be most affected.
Cystic acne's exact cause is unclear, but is believed to involve hormones androgen.
Androgen rises during puberty and may result in pores becoming clogged.
In women, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome can also exacerbate acne.
Over-the-counter medication that can ease milder acne often has no effect on cystic shapes.
A dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics that control bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Creams and gels containing retionoid, a form of vitamin A, can also help remove pores.
Pills can also help women control their hormones.
It is important to seek treatment to prevent scarring.
Acne sufferers should not opt for their blemishes as this can push the infection deeper and spread it.
They should also lead a healthy lifestyle. Research suggests that sugary diets can aggravate acne.
The sufferers should also try to relax because of the stress that causes the body to release more hormones.
Source: Web MD