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New Acne Treatments on the Horizon

By Dr. Kristie

Acne can be a disfiguring disease – and a difficult one to treat. Not only are acne lesions embarrassing to teens, but repeated outbreaks can be associated with permanent scarring.

Teens aren’t the only ones susceptible to this common skin disease – adults get a form of acne - appropriately known as “adult acne”. Fortunately, there may be new treatments for acne on the horizon – including a possible acne vaccine.

An Acne Vaccine to Treat Acne?

According to an article published in Family Practice News, an acne vaccine may become available within the next ten years. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego have already developed a vaccine against the Propionibacterium bacteria – the bacteria that causes acne.

Propionibacterium acnes multiplies within skin follicles clogged by sebum which sets up an inflammatory reaction that leads to the characteristic outbreaks seen with acne. A vaccine that targets this bacteria could be the key to staying acne free.

Even more encouraging is the fact that this acne vaccine is effective for preventing acne lesions in animals. Of course, human testing is needed, but if this vaccine is safe and effective, acne could one day be a thing of the past.

Acne Associated with Polycystic Ovary Disease

Polycystic ovary disease is a condition where numerous cysts form on the ovaries leading to a variety of symptoms including weight gain and acne. Researchers have found that the diabetes drug metformin may reduce the acne seen with polycystic ovary disease.

Although this drug is available now, it should only be used by people who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary disease or diabetes due to the potential side effects.

Using Diet to Treat Acne

Most studies show that acne doesn’t readily respond to dietary changes, but a Harvard study recently showed that drinking skim milk may worsen the symptoms of acne. It’s thought that the hormone precursors present in milk may trigger the production of more sebum.

When more sebum is produced, pores are more likely to become clogged – triggering an outbreak of acne. More research is needed on this, but a trial of a milk-free diet could be helpful for people who suffer from acne.

The Bottom Line?

While there’s yet to be a cure for acne, new acne treatments and ways of dealing with this common condition are on the horizon – including a possible acne vaccine. Good news for anyone who suffers from this common skin condition. 



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Disclaimer: Articles not intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure or Prevent Diseases.

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