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Makedonka Mitreva, PhD, associate professor of medicine and William H. McCoy, MD, PhD, instructor in medicine, shed light on how medication for severe acne alters skin microbiome

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Isotretinoin, a form of vitamin A, has been prescribed to treat acne for decades. It reduces oil production in the skin, which helps prevent acne from forming.

But new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has uncovered a previously unknown benefit of the medication. It shifts the skin microbiome of acne patients to more closely resemble that of people with normal skin. The new study is published Dec. 21 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.