With the rise of maskne, many more of us have had to deal with the skin disease that is acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, over 50 million people have acne in the US. Caused by a disorder of the sebaceous glands, the condition causes breakouts, irritation, and scarring as well as influencing psychological wellbeing leading to poor self-image, depression, and anxiety.
“Despite major treatment advances in other skin conditions, progress in acne has been limited. As well as suffering from the symptoms of acne, individuals describe consequent profound, negative impacts on their psychological and social wellbeing,” said Professor Catherine Smith, a professor at St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas.
Acne’s in the genes
A genetic study, published in Nature Communication, will hopefully change this for future acne sufferers, with 29 regions of the genome being identified that may influence the disease. The team was able to link genetic risk with disease severity, plus these genes were also found to be involved in other skin and hair conditions.
An avenue for new treatments
This data has the potential to trigger new treatment targets and a deeper understanding of what causes the disease in the first place.
Professor Michael Simpson who worked on the project stated: “We know that the causes of acne are complicated, with a mix of biological factors such as genetics and hormones, and environmental factors. Understanding the genetics of the condition will help us to disentangle some of these causes, and find the best way to treat the condition. This is a really promising area for further study, and opens up a lot of avenues for research.”
Source study: Nature Communication – Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies 29 new acne susceptibility loci