The Weird Role Hair Follicles Play in Whether or Not You Get Acne

Photo: Stocksy/Brkati Krokodil
If you've been dealing with acne, you've probably tried it all: drinking copious amounts of water, trying every face mask in existence, totally cleaning up your diet, trying to get your hormones in check—you name it. (Not to mention having your derm on speed dial.) But if the struggle is still real after all this time, the root of the problem could be a little deeper. Like, hair follicle deep.

In a study of nearly 27,000 people—5,602 of those with severe acne—published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers looked into which genetic traits those with acne shared. It turns out the shape of your hair follicles could make you more prone to acne due to your pores being the perfect environment for building up bacteria. While this finding might not provide you with a cure-all right now, it's an eye-opening discovery that could change the game for fighting acne down the line.

"Applying these genetic approaches to acne has never been done before, and it’s a significant leap forward," lead study author and consultant dermatologist Jonathan Barker told The Guardian. "When you have insight into the genetic basis of a condition, you can develop much more effective treatments."

This study is definitely giving some peace of mind to anyone who's been long struggling with the condition: You can't do anything about your genetics—and your hair follicle shape, at that—if that's what's making you more susceptible. Hopefully, there will soon be a new treatment plan that can combat the issue from, ahem, the root of the problem.

Here are six good things that come from having acne, according to Redditors. Or, find out how spearmint supplements could help fight hormonal acne.

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