Korean Researchers Reveal Cutibacterium acnes As a Potential Cause of Lichen Striatus Hypopigmentation

Microbial analysis shows a high abundance of Cutibacterium acnes in skin samples of patients with hypopigmentation in lichen striatus.

Lichen striatus (LS)-associated hypopigmentation and its link to skin microbiota has remained unexplored, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of the underlying causes and potential targeted treatments for LS. Recently, researchers analyzed hypopigmentation in patients with LS, finding a quadrupled presence ofthe bacterium Cutibacterium acnes in skin samples of those with hypopigmentation. This result opens doors to future research on skin microbiota's role in LS, as well as novel therapeutic strategies. LS, a skin condition manifesting as linear eruptions following Blaschko’s lines on the trunk or limbs of children, is often accompanied by hypopigmentation (loss of melanin or skin color). Interestingly, LS has a higher frequency of hypopigmentation compared to that of other skin inflammations, with up to 50% cases that can persist for several months to even years. However, the cause behind this trend is not clear. The gram-positive bacterium Cutibacterium acnes has previously been associated with various skin conditions, including acne vulgaris and post-inflammatory hypopigmentation. There could, therefore, be a potential association between C. acnes and the observed skin microbiota of patients with LS with and without hypopigmentation. With this hypothesis, a team of researchers from Korea led by Associate Professor Yun Hak Kim from the Department of Anatomy and the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Professor Hyun-Chang Go from the Department of Dermatology, both at Pusan National University, recently conducted a detailed study to ascertain this relationship. Their paper was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology on January 3, 2024. The article is titled “Association Between the Skin Microbiome and Lichen Striatus Hypopigmentation: Cutibacterium acnes As a Potential Cause."

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