A team of Chinese scientists have discovered a new acne gene, boosting hope that the common skin disorder can be nipped in the genetic bud.
The article published on the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, an international journal on skin research, described the gene as F13A1, whose mutation increases the expression of interleukin 6, a protein that plays an important role in the development of severe acne.
“Based on this discovery, we speculate that severe acne is caused by the inflammation brought by the mutation of F13A1,” said Yang Xingyan from Yunnan University, the first author of the article.
Acne, a common problem for teenagers, is caused by skin grease build-up and clogged pores. Severe acne can leave scars and cause anxiety and depression among adolescents.
Scientists have previously identified several acne-related genes that can influence androgen metabolism, inflammation and scar formation.
Yang said the discovery of the new gene and its functions would provide a target for treating severe acne.