Propionibacterium acnes and its Role in the Pathogenesis of Acne Vulgaris

Propionibacterium acnes

What is Propionibacterium Acnes?

Propionibacterium Acnes is a type of bacteria commonly found within the acid mantle of human skin. It is the major cause of acne vulgaris and is responsible for the inflammation and infection associated with acne. P. acnes is a normal inhabitant of the human skin flora and normally causes no harm. It is found on virtually all skin, no matter the age, location or conditions.

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Role of Propionibacterium acnes in Acne Vulgaris

In some cases, the presence of Propionibacterium acnes can lead to an increase in inflammation and infection of skin leading to the development of acne. This typically begins when P. acnes produces lipases, which cause the production of sebum. Sebum is an oily substance which can clog the hair follicles and the pores of the skin. When these pores become clogged, mild to severe inflammation can develop which can cause redness and increased pain.

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How Propionibacterium Acnes Affects Health

While Propionibacterium acnes is a normal and common inhabitant of the skin, when it is overabundant, it can cause problems. For example, in some people, Propionibacterium acnes can cause subcutaneous nodules known as acne cyst which can be painful and uncomfortable. In some cases, P. acnes can also spread to other areas of the body, leading to further skin inflammation and infection.

Treatment of Propionibacterium Acnes

The treatment of Propionibacterium acnes usually involves the use of antibiotics, as well as topical application of products containing salicylic acid such as benzoyl peroxide, which can help to reduce the amount of P. acnes on the surface of the skin. Additionally, other products containing sulfur, resorcinol and azelaic acid can also be used in order to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin.

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Propionibacterium acnes, Acne Vulgaris, Health, Lipases, Sebum, Skin Inflammation, Antibiotics, Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Sulfur, Resorcinol, Azelaic Acid.