Cutibacterium acnes is the new name for the acne-causing germ Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes for short.
So, if you have acne, it is C. acnes, not P. acnes, that you need to know about now!
Why has the name changed for the bacteria that causes acne?
Microbiologists periodically rename microbial germs as they develop more precise tools to better understand differences and similarities between species.
C. acnes (formerly P. acnes) is known to play a role in the common form of acne called acne vulgaris. People with oily skin have a higher amount of C. acnes in their pores, especially on the head, upper back and chest.
C. acnes bacteria can increase in number in your pores if your skin is really oily. This can lead to pimples and blackheads.
The most effective anti-acne products that you can apply to your skin for reducing C. acnes (formerly P. acnes) are ones with benzoyl peroxide.
We know that topical prescription acne treatment products with antibiotics are not as effective as benzoyl peroxide, because this germ mutates and develops resistance to traditional antibiotics. It also develops resistance to oral prescription antibiotics too, such as erythromycin, clindamycin, tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. Studies have shown that benzoyl peroxide does the job better at reducing C. acnes (P. acnes). This is good news because benzoyl peroxide is non-prescription.
You don’t need to go to your doctor to get the best products to treat acne.
You can use non-prescription benzoyl peroxide in the form of cleansers or lotions. If you are treating your acne on a large surface area, such as the the chest and back (Bacne as many like to call it), I like the use of medicated cleansers because they are easy to apply.
This includes Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Cleanser, which leaves a residue of medicated benzoyl peroxide on your skin after washing to treat C. acnes (P. acnes).
Know that this residue will bleach fabric so be certain to wear a white shirt after cleansing your skin with a benzoyl peroxide cleanser.
Often, back and chest acne also involves another skin microbe called Pityrosporum, so I have advised my back and chest acne patients to alternate their benzoyl peroxide cleanser with a cleanser that contains pyrithione zinc.
This is the active ingredient in Foaming Zinc Cleanser.
I have people apply these cleansers with a Salux Cloth to help exfoliate and smooth-out this acne-prone skin too. These 3 products make up my popular Back Acne Kit.
What is the best benzoyl peroxide product to treat C. acnes on the face?
Facial C. acnes (formerly P. acnes) can be treated with a benzoyl peroxide lotion. The 2.5% is as effective as stronger levels such as 5% and 10%. The maximum level of benzoyl peroxide allowed is 10%.
- I use 10% in the Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide knowing that some benzoyl peroxide will be rinsed off.
- For a leave-on benzoyl peroxide cream, 2.5% is the sweet spot between effective acne treatment and low risk of benzoyl peroxide being drying to skin.
How can you make benzoyl peroxide work even better to treat facial acne?
Combine benzoyl peroxide with the pore cleaning ingredients salicylic acid and glycolic acid by using my Ultimate Acne Treatment Kit. These other 2 ingredients help to unclog clogged pores and treat blackheads, thus helping benzoyl peroxide penetrate deeply into pores where C. acnes lives.
We know that C. acnes lives deep in the pores living on the fatty acids in sebum and cellular debris for nutrition and energy. C. acnes thrives best in clogged pores, which is why I have products to treat clogged pores in my Acne Treatment Kit.
The best skin care treatment for acne combines ingredients that unclog pores, penetrate deeply into the pore, and treat C. acnes (formerly P. acnes). My Ultimate Acne Treatment Kit does this.
So, P. acnes has a new name – C. acnes, it plays a role in causing acne on the oily areas of the face, back and chest. Treat it with my Back and Body Acne Kit and my Ultimate Acne Kit – physician level treatment for acne, based on what scientists and dermatologists know about treating acne.