Lipid Enlightenment: A New Way Forward for Personalized Skin Care


Researchers at Oregon State University have uncovered a way to identify lipids or fats in the skin of individuals afflicted with atopic dermatitis to compare them with those in healthy skin. According to a university report, this fundamental advance could lead to new personalized therapies for millions. Patents have been applied for, and researchers are working toward the process of licensing and commercialization.

Another part of this advance, never previously reported, is a clear link between atopic dermatitis, altered lipid profiles and some types of bacterial infections such as staphylococcus aureus, or a staph infection.

“These findings about altered lipid profiles and the link to bacterial infections could be a breakthrough to ultimately help many people who struggle with atopic dermatitis and related skin problems,” said Arup Indra, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University and lead author of the study.

“For the first time we will be able to identify the individual lipids that may be needed to help someone’s skin return to health,” Indra said. “This may be of value not only to patients with atopic dermatitis or other skin diseases, but even for normal individuals who simply want their skin to be more healthy, well-hydrated and resistant to aging.”

Moisturizing creams, lotions, special diets and other approaches have shown limited success. With these findings, the researchers believe they can identify a person’s individual skin lipid profile using simple tests to determine which lipids are deficient, then develop personalized topical compounds to replace them. This would be the epitome of product customization and a leap forward for cosmetic dermatology. 

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