FRIDAY, April 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The use of probiotics as an adjunct therapy may help in the management of acne vulgaris, according to a review published online April 7 in Dermatologic Therapy.

Azadeh Goodarzi, M.D., from the Iran University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to assess the potential of probiotics (either oral or topical) for treating acne vulgaris.

The researchers found that acne lesions were associated with increases in the proportion of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) as a skin commensal bacterium. Probiotics showed inhibitory effects on P. acnes by mediating antibacterial proteins and bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances and having immunomodulatory effects on keratinocytes and epithelial cells. Additionally, probiotics inhibited cytokine interleukin-8 in epithelial cells and keratinocytes, suggesting immunomodulatory activities. Glycerol fermentation by Staphylococcus epidermidis acted as a natural skin defense against acne and an overgrowth inhibitor of P. acnes. Lactococcus sp., as an antimicrobial agent in lotions and cosmetic formulations, can decrease the inflammatory mediators that are produced by P. acnes and cause vasodilation, edema, mast cell degranulation and tumor necrosis factor-alpha release.

“Oral administration of probiotics was found to constitute an adjuvant therapy to conventional modalities for treating mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris,” the authors write.

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