Updated Treatment for Acne: Targeted Therapy Based on Pathogenesis

One of many topics which will discussed during the 12th International Conference on Skin Ageing and Challenges 2021 is Updated Treatment for Acne: Targeted Therapy Based on Pathogenesis.

Recent advances have further elucidated the pathogenesis of acne: it is now clear that immunological factors play an important role. To date, acne pathogenesis has implicated four major factors: androgen-dependent sebogenesis, hyperkeratinization of the infundibulum, Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) colonization, and inflammation. Successful targeted therapy for acne currently includes topical retinoids that normalize abnormal hyperkeratinization in the infundibulum and novel topical retinoids with anti-inflammatory properties. Topical and oral antimicrobials inhibit bacterial proliferation and reduce inflammation related to cytokines and extracellular enzymes. Topical benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is highly effective in reducing both sensitive and resistant strains of C. acnes and has some impact on hyperkeratinization in the infundibulum. Anti-androgens can regulate androgen metabolism, resulting in suppression of sebum excretion. Orally administered isotretinoin is currently the only agent that can affect all four main factors implicated in acne.

In this review, they summarize updated treatments facilitating potential novel approaches in acne treatment including immunology and wound healing. In particular, biological treatments targeting IL-1β, IL-17, IL-23, and TNFα could provide novel approaches for treating severe acne and related disorders. In addition, biological antibodies targeting TGFβ, IL-6, MMP, IGF-1, and B cells may be a potential strategy for the prevention and treatment of this type of scar in the future. Future treatment for acne should embrace approaches that target the main etiological factors of acne.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13555-021-00552-6

Skin whitening products and their ingredients for safety, health risk, and the halal status

One of  study dedicated to the 12th International Conference on Skin Ageing and Challenges is Skin whitening products and their ingredients for safety, health risk, and the halal status published by Fatin Nur Majdina Nordin and al. 

This review paper aimed to shed light on the skin-whitening ingredients and their issues related to safety, health risk, and halal status: Skin-whitening products are in the high trend of demand for skin beautifying and lightening. Sources of ingredients for cosmetics could be natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic that may affect the halal status of a product. The lack of scientific evidence on the safety and risks of such ingredients is a major concern to many consumers.

Based on the review, most of the common ingredients in the skin-whitening products are originated from plants, animals, microbes, and heavy metals. Health risk of the ingredients was evaluated based on the usage, chronic or acute adverse effect, frequency of incidence, and the hazardous chemical contents of a halal cosmetics. The halal status of the ingredients was investigated based on the sources of origin, safety evaluation, and associated health risk of the ingredients. This review shows that ingredients play a vital role in the halal status decision-making of a cosmetic product. Therefore, the categories of Halal-Safe, Haram-Prohibited, and Critical-Need further evaluation were suggested to integrate the sources of ingredients with safety.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.13691



The Pathobiology of Skin Aging: New Insights into an Old Dilemma

One of the great topics that will be discussed during the 12th International Conference on Skin Ageing and Challenges 2021 is The Pathobiology of Skin Aging: New Insights into an Old Dilemma by Georges Murphy.


Long considered both physiologic and inevitable, skin aging is a degenerative phenomenon whereby both intrinsic and environmental factors conspire to produce an authentic disease. The consequences of this disorder are many and varied, ranging from atrophy and fragility to defective repair to deficient immunity and vulnerability to certain infections. The pathobiological basis for skin aging remains poorly understood. At a cellular level, stem cell dysfunction and attrition appear to be key events, and both genetic and epigenetic factors are involved in a complex interplay that over time results in deterioration of our main protective interface with the external environment. Past and current understanding of the cellular and molecular intricacies of skin aging provide a foundation for future approaches designed to thwart the aging phenotype.

This review has provided only a glimpse into the complex events that account for the disease of skin aging. Beyond UV light and infectious agents, there are numerous other factors that are likely to contribute to the aging skin phenotype. Krutmann and coworkers have recently emphasized the term skin exposome to describe the totality of potentially deleterious, age-inducing external factors to which skin is exposed during a lifetime. These factors include, in addition to UV radiation, environmental pollutants, stress, nutritional factors, tobacco, temperature-related factors, and even lack of sleep. Such factors, singly or in combination, may have the potential to conspire in a manner that affects the epigenome governing the transcriptional integrity of skin cell DNA, thus pathologically modifying cells, including physiologic stem cells, from the more pristine states that typified their youth. In this respect, it is important to remember that epigenomic alterations that reorganize chromatin and alter gene expression are known to contribute to cellular aging in organisms as basic as budding yeast.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.03.007 

Apple cider vinegar soaks do not alter the skin bacterial microbiome in atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disease characterized by altered cutaneous immunity in which patients often exhibit lower skin microbiota diversity compared to healthy skin and are prone to colonization by Staphylococcus aureus. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have antibacterial effects; however, its effects on the skin microbiome have not previously been well-described.

The Conclusion: Results suggest that daily soaks in 0.5% apple cider vinegar are not an effective method of altering the skin bacterial microbiome in atopic dermatitis. Further studies are needed to explore the effects of different concentrations of apple cider vinegar on skin microflora and disease severity.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252272

Authors: Lydia A. Luu, Richard H. Flowers, Yingnan Gao, Martin Wu, Sofia Gasperino, Ann L. Kellams, DeVon C. Preston, Barrett J. Zlotoff, Julia A. Wisniewski, Steven L. Zeichner

How to Access to Skin Ageing & Challenges 2020 Virtual Platform?

If you wish to visualize all talks (Major, Short oral presentations, and Posters), you can register and have access to our virtual platform for 1 month.
More than 40+ recorded presentations with a list of attendees, questions, and answers sent to speakers also available.

Access to Skin Ageing & Challenges Platform  

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Best Image Contest – Skin Challenges 2020 Congress

Among the Best Images contest submitted images, the organizing committee selected Dr. Lia Mara Grosso Neves’s submission.

Dr. Neves also will present a short oral entitled “Polysaccharide‐rich hydrogel formulation combined with photobiomodulation repairs UV‐induced photodamage in mice skin” during the Skin Challenges 2020 Virtual Congress.

Summary of talk: The development of new therapies for the treatment of photoaging has gained importance in the last decades. In this scenario, natural products represent interesting tools for the prevention and treatment of skin aging. The therapy called photobiomodulation (PBM) refers to the use of photons, in a non-thermal irradiance, to alter the biological activity of cells and tissues. Non-ablative lasers have been increasingly used in the aesthetic treatment of fine wrinkles and skin photoaging. Will be demonstrated the biomodulatory effects of a polysaccharide-rich hydrogel formulation extracted from Lycium barbarum fruits combined with PBM repairing the UVR-induced photodamage on the skin of hairless mice.

If you wish to submit your images for Best Images contest, please follow the link here.

New study reveals how skin cells prepare to heal wounds

Spatially choreographed gene expression in a healing skin wound, with insets showing the predicted differentiation trajectories of epidermal cells in unwounded and wounded skin. Credit: UCI School of Medicine

A team of University of California, Irvine researchers have published the first comprehensive overview of the major changes that occur in mammalian skin cells as they prepare to heal wounds. Results from the study provide a blueprint for future investigation into pathological conditions associated with poor wound healing, such as in diabetic patients.


“This study is the first comprehensive dissection of the major changes in cellular heterogeneity from a normal state to wound healing in skin,” said Xing Dai, Ph.D., a professor of biological chemistry and dermatology in the UCI School of Medicine, and senior author. “This work also showcases the collaborative efforts between biologists, mathematician and physicists at UCI, with support from the National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases-funded UCI Skin Biology Resource-based Center and the NSF-Simons Center for Multiscale Cell Fate Research.

The study, titled, “Defining epidermal basal cell states during skin homeostasis and wound healing using single-cell transcriptomics,” was published this week in Cell Reports.

“Our research uncovered at least four distinct transcriptional states in the epidermal basal layer as part of a ‘hierarchical-lineage’ model of the epidermal homeostasis, or stable state of the skin, clarifying a long-term debate in the skin stem cell field,” said Dai.

Using single-cell RNA sequencing coupled with RNAScope and fluorescence lifetime imaging, the team identified three non-proliferative and one proliferative basal cell state in homeostatic skin that differ in metabolic preference and become spatially partitioned during wound re-epithelialization, which is the process by which the skin and mucous membranes replace superficial epithelial cells damaged or lost in a wound.

Epithelial tissue maintenance is driven by resident stem cells, the proliferation and differentiation dynamics of which need to be tailored to the tissue’s homeostatic and regenerative needs. However, our understanding of tissue-specific cellular dynamics in vivo at single-cell and tissue scales is often very limited.

“Our study lays a foundation for future investigation into the adult epidermis, specifically how the skin is maintained and how it can robustly regenerate itself upon injury,” said Dai.

News Source: www.medicalxpress.com

More information: Daniel Haensel et al, Defining Epidermal Basal Cell States during Skin Homeostasis and Wound Healing Using Single-Cell Transcriptomics, Cell Reports (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.091

Journal information: Cell Reports

Research delivers new insights into how skin can regenerate after severe burns

Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, PhD Credit: UCalgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

People who suffer severe burns or extensive skin injuries are often left to live with extreme scarring, disfigurement, and skin that feels chronically tight and itchy. That’s because the body’s healing processes have evolved to focus on preventing infection by quickly closing up wounds, rather than regenerating or restoring normal skin tissue.


New research led by Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, Ph.D., has made an exciting leap forward in understanding how skin heals, which could lead to drug treatments to vastly improve wound healing. The study, published in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell, was co-led by Dr. Sepideh Abbasi, Ph.D., Sarthak Sinha, MD/Ph.D. candidate and Dr. Elodie Labit, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow.

“We identified a specific population of progenitor cells that reside within the dermis, the deep connective tissue of the skin. Progenitor cells, are unique in that they are able to undergo cell division and generate many new cells to either maintain or repair tissues. Following injury, these dermal progenitors become activated, proliferate and then migrate into the wound where they generate nearly all of the new tissue that will fill the wound, both scar and regenerated tissue,” says Biernaskie, professor of stem cell biology in the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Chair in Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing.

Biernaskie’s intensive study, five years in the making, offers new knowledge on why certain dermal cells are able to regenerate new skin, rather than disfiguring scar tissue. Using cutting-edge genomics techniques to profile thousands of individual cells at different times after injury, the research team compared scar-forming versus regenerative zones within skin wounds.

“Remarkably, we found that although these cells come from the same cellular origin, different microenvironments within the wound activate entirely different sets of genes. Meaning, the signals found within ‘regenerative zones’ of the wound promote re-activation of genes that are typically engaged during skin development. Whereas, in scar-forming zones these pro-regenerative programs are absent or suppressed and scar-forming programs dominate.”

Working with these findings, the researchers then showed it’s possible to modify the genetic programs that govern skin regeneration.

“What we’ve shown is that you can alter the wound environment with drugs, or modify the genetics of these progenitor cells directly, and both are sufficient to change their behavior during wound healing. And that can have really quite impressive effects on healing that includes regeneration of new hair follicles, glands and fat within the wounded skin,” says Biernaskie.

This research offers critical insights into the molecular signals that drive scar formation during wound healing and it identifies a number of genetic signals that are able to overcome fibrosis and promote true regeneration of adult skin.

“This proof of principle is really important because it suggests that the adult wound-responsive cells do in fact harbor a latent regenerative capacity, it just simply needs to be unmasked,” says Biernaskie. “Now, we are actively looking for additional pathways that may be involved. Our hope is to develop a cocktail of drugs that we could safely administer in humans and animals to entirely prevent genetic programs that initiate scar formation in order to greatly improve the quality of skin healing.”

News source: www.medicalxpress.com

More information: Sepideh Abbasi et al, Distinct Regulatory Programs Control the Latent Regenerative Potential of Dermal Fibroblasts during Wound Healing, Cell Stem Cell (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2020.07.008

Journal information: Cell Stem Cell

Coronavirus: Skin rash can be only COVID-19 symptom and should be fourth key sign, study finds

A hive-type rash, or urticaria, is among the three skin conditions that can be the only symptom of COVID-19. A hive-type rash, or urticaria, is among the three skin conditions that can be the only symptom of COVID-19.
Credit Pic: James Heilman

Three skin conditions are each identified by researchers as potentially the sole indicator of the illness.

A skin rash can sometimes be the only symptom of people infected with COVID-19, a study has concluded.

Three types of rashes are identified in the research by King’s College London, leading those behind the study to call for skin rashes to be included as a fourth key symptom of COVID-19.

The three established symptoms of COVID-19, as recognised by the NHS, are a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

The study – which has been published online but has not yet been peer-reviewed – drew upon data from the 336,000 regular UK users of the COVID Symptom Study app.

With that data, researchers found 8.8% of people who tested positive for the virus suffered a skin rash among their symptoms, compared with 5.4% of those who tested negative.

Similar results were seen in a further 8.2% of users with a rash who did not have a coronavirus test, but still reported the three established COVID-19 symptoms: a cough, fever or loss of smell.

The study said rashes associated with COVID-19 fell into three categories:

Hive-type rash (urticaria):

  • The sudden appearance of raised bumps on the skin, which come and go quite quickly over hours, and are usually very itchy.
  • It can involve any part of the body, and often starts with intense itching of the palms or soles, and can cause swelling of the lips and eyelids.
  • These rashes can present quite early on in the infection, but can also last a long time afterwards.

‘Prickly heat’ or chickenpox-type rash:

  • Areas of small, itchy red bumps that can occur anywhere on the body, but particularly the elbows and knees as well as the back of the hands and feet.
  • The rash can persist for days or weeks.

COVID fingers and toes (chilblains):

  • Reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers or toes, which may be sore but not usually itchy.

This type of rash is most specific to COVID-19, is more common in younger people with the disease, and tends to present later on.

Lead author Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College London, said: “Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19.

“However, it’s important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease.

“So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”

Although COVID-19 is often thought of as a virus that affects the respiratory system, rashes had been reported in a number of cases among people in China and elsewhere in Europe who had needed hospital treatment for severe symptoms of the disease.

However, this is the first and largest study to systematically gather data about skin rashes in milder cases across the wider population.

Consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk said: “These findings highlight the importance of keeping an eye on any new changes in your skin, such as lumps, bumps or rashes.

“Early reporting of COVID-associated rashes by members of the public and recognition of their significance by frontline healthcare practitioners – such as GPs, NHS 111 and hospital staff – may increase the detection of coronavirus infections and help to stop the spread.”

News source : news.sky.com

Authors : Veronique Bataille, Alessia Visconti, Niccolo’ Rossi, Benjamin Murray, Abigail Bournot, Wolf, Sebastien Ourselin, Claire Steves, Timothy Spector, Mario Falchi
doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.10.20150656

Researchers uncover novel approach for treating eczema

Credit : CC0 Public Domain 

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) have identified a key enzyme that contributes to eczema, which may lead to better treatment to prevent the skin disorder’s debilitating effects.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), causes the ‘s protective barrier to break down, making it more vulnerable to foreign entities that can cause itching, inflammation, dryness and further degradation of the skin’s protective barrier.

“The symptoms people often experience with eczema make them more likely to avoid going outside their homes or to work,” says the study’s senior author, Dr. David Granville, a professor in UBC’s faculty of medicine and researcher at VCHRI. “It is estimated that the annual cost of eczema in North America is over $5.5 billion because of how it impacts people’s health and well-being.”

The Granzyme B enzyme is positively correlated with itchiness and disease severity in eczema. Researchers found that Granzyme B weakens the skin barrier by cleaving through the proteins holding cells together making it easier for allergens to penetrate across.

“Between cells in our skin are proteins that anchor them tightly together,” says Granville. “In some , such as eczema, Granzyme B is secreted by cells and eats away at those proteins, causing these bonds to weaken and the skin to become further inflamed and itchy.”

Researchers found that by knocking out Granzyme B with genetic modification, or inhibiting it with a topical gel, they could prevent it from damaging the skin barrier and significantly reduce the severity of AD.

“Previous work had suggested that Granzyme B levels correlate with the degree of itchiness and in patients with ; however, there was no evidence that this enzyme played any causative role,” says Granville. “Our study provides evidence that topical drugs targeting Granzyme B could be used to treat patients with and other forms of dermatitis.”

Researchers aim to quell the root cause of eczema symptoms

Approximately 15-20 per cent of Canadians live with some form of AD, and among Canadian children under the age of five, AD affects between 10-15 per cent. Of those, around 40 per cent will experience symptoms of the disease for the rest of their lives.

AD is also associated with an of developing a host of other inflammatory conditions, including food allergies, asthma and allergic rhinitis.

“Atopic dermatitis is the leading non-fatal health burden attributable to skin diseases,” says Dr. Chris Turner, the study’s lead author and former UBC postdoctoral fellow in Granville’s laboratory.

AD typically follows an itch-scratch cycle in which itchiness is followed by scratching and more itchiness. This cycle usually occurs during flare-ups, which can appear anytime, and sometimes weeks, months or years apart.

Corticosteroid creams are a common treatment for individuals with AD who experience more severe itching and rashes. However, these can thin the skin when used over a prolonged period of time, which can make skin more prone to damage and infection.

A gel or cream that stops or limits Granzyme B, thereby reducing the severity of AD, could be a safer and more effective long-term treatment.

“A gel or cream that blocks Granzyme B could have fewer if any side-effects and circumvent the itch-scratch cycle, making flare-ups less pronounced,” says Turner

While a commercially available treatment is still a ways away, the researchers see great promise in this line of research and are pursuing further clinical trials into Granzyme B and Granzyme B inhibitors.

News source : medicalxpress.com

Authors : Christopher T. Turner, Matthew R. Zeglinski, Katlyn C. Richardson, Stephanie Santacruz, Sho Hiroyasu, Christine Wang, Hongyan Zhao, Yue Shen, Roma Sehmi, Hermenio Lima, Gail M. Gauvreau, David J. Granville DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2020.05.095