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Does Bacteria Protect You from Skin Cancer?

Usually in terms of skincare, the word “bacteria” conjures up images of unsightly blemishes. After all, everyone knows that bacteria cause acne, right? Well, that may be true, but not all types of bacteria work to diminish the health and beauty of your skin.

A recent study conducted at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggests that a type of bacteria—staphylococcus epidermidis, or S. epidermis—commonly found on human skin has the potential to prevent skin cancer!

How S. Epidermis Protects Skin

The UC San Diego School of Medicine research project, led by Dr. Richard Gallo, PhD, found a strain of S. epidermis that produces a chemical called 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP). 6-HAP inhibits DNA synthesis, and in the presence of cancerous cells, that inhibitive action kept tumors from growing. In fact, in the study group of mice that received 6-HAP injections as an intervention, tumors shrunk up to 50%!

Additionally, 6-HAP, whether produced by bacteria on the skin or administered as an injection, did not appear to have any negative side effects on healthy skin cells.

Further Research Needed

This new study is an exciting step forward in the march to fight skin cancer, but the march isn’t over. Dr. Gallo points out that further research is needed to better understand the role of 6-HAP—i.e., whether its absence is a risk factor for developing skin cancer or how it’s produced (because not all strains of S. epidermis make it).

As you can expect from the company that stays on the cutting edge of skincare technology, Hale Cosmeceuticals will keep you updated on the latest findings.

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