Skin Deep - Clinical & Cosmetic Dermatology Blog

Skin Deep is a blog for dermatologists and skin care professionals with focus on theoretical, cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology. This blog is associated with ‘Dermatologists Sans Borders’ one of the largest curated groups of skin care professionals on facebook. If you are looking for non-technical information, please visit

Chicken or the egg in Acne?

This article[1] reiterates the role of antimicrobial peptides (AMP), the body’s innate antimicrobial system in the pathogenesis and management of acne. Yes, there is a paradox here! AMP because of its anti-p.acnes action may improve acne while its proinflammatory properties may worsen it. It is not known whether p.acnes indirectly causes inflammatory acne by promoting AMP production. The authors examines several endogenous AMPs and gets unduly enticed in this Chicken-Egg paradox making too many speculations. However the bottom line seems to be simple and straightforward: Structurally modified AMPs and AMPs from other species with less proinflammatory properties may be useful in acne. Full article is available from the cited URL.[1]
Acne vulgaris
Acne vulgaris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a head-to-head comparison of three questionnaires to screen for psoriatic arthritis.[2] All three questionnaires (PEST, Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screen (ToPAS) and PASE) were found to be effective for the purpose.

1. Harder J, Tsuruta D, Murakami M, Kurokawa I. What is the role of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) in acne vulgaris? Exp Dermatol. 2013 Apr;p. n/a. Available from:

2. Coates LC, Aslam T, Al Balushi F, Burden AD, Burden-The E, Caperon AR, et al. Comparison of three screening tools to detect psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis (CONTEST study). The British journal of dermatology. 2013 Apr;168(4):802-807. Available from:

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.


Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON