If successful, the new method could potentially be used to treat any kind of burns and other skin defects like chronic wounds, said Dr Chua, who is also an adjunct assistant professor of Duke-NUS Medical School's Musculoskeletal Sciences Academic Clinical Programme.

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But it can also be triggered by a strep infection deep inside your throat.

And even though you see it on your skin, your doctor might recommend treating it with pills or injections.

That helps the bacteria travel throughout the cells.“It kind of abuses that system to activate Rac and penetrate the skin,” Winge said.

That’s how Rac1 works in healthy people—or people who get healthy as soon as they recover from their bout with strep. Peter Marinkovich, winner of a 2011 Translational Grant from NPF—studied how Rac1 works in psoriasis, they noticed some important differences.

Strep bacteria can also trigger Rac1 activation, Winge said.

The bacteria can stimulate skin cells called keratinocytes so Rac1 springs into action the way it does for a skin wound.


Understanding psoriasis is like trying to assemble a puzzle without enough pieces.

Regulatory agencies such as the US Food and Drug Administration have classified such cultured products as xenografts, which are approved only for treatment of severe burns, which cover more than 30 per cent of total body surface area.