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New Treatment For Acne

New Treatment For Acne

New acne vaccine could curb the disease forever…

Scientists at the University of California at San Diego have developed a breakthrough vaccine for acne, which they say could be available within five years.

The new drug, takes a different approach in tackling the painful skin condition; by attacking the proteins produced by germs, as opposed to current treatments, which target the acne causing bacteria, P-Acnes.

Acne is caused when the skin produces too much of its own natural moisturizer known as sebum. Over production of sebum clogs the pores, protein then starts killing the blood cells and this results in inflammation and sore pimples.

cuase of acne - p-acne bacteria

P-Acne Bacteria Causes Acne

Image Credit: Rbrausse, 2010.

Current treatments that blitz P-Acnes can be effective, but leave around 20 percent of suffers with scarring. The strongest acne treatment out there, Roaccutane, not only makes skin sensitive, it has also been linked to birth defects and depression.

To develop the new treatment, the scientists – working in conjunction with the world’s biggest vaccine company, Sanofi Pasteur – created an antibody that switches off the troublesome protein when injected into the skin.

In tests on mince, the group injected with bacteria treated with antibodies developed much less inflammation than the mice that were given the untreated bacteria.

Although hailed as a vaccine, the new jab would act more like a treatment that may need to be administered on several occasions. However, experts say it’s still too early to tell how many injections would be needed.

With 8 out of 10 teenagers suffering from spots, and a global market for acne treatment estimated at
£1.87billion a year, an effective new medication that literally ‘turns-off’ the disease would be useful for millions.

Dr Harald Gollnick, of the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne, says it may be available within five to ten years.


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  1. Tanith Carey: Vaccine that could end the misery of acne for millions of teenagers. Daily Mail UK, 11/11/2011.
  2. Thumbnail Credit: Diariodaj, 2009.

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