Scientists develop acne treatment that works with the skin's bacteria

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Scientists develop acne treatment that works with the skin's bacteria

Related tags Bacteria

University of Granada scientists have patented a new treatment for acne that is based on completely natural substances, which they say is much more effective than artificial formulas because it does not create resistance to bacteria and has no secondary effects.

The formula, developed on campus at the Department of Microbiology is applied directly on the skin which features principle ingredient, a circular, 70 amino acid protein known as 'AS-48', produced by Enterococcus ​bacteria, which the researchers say has no proven haemolytic or toxic activity.

Lead scientist on the project, Mercedes Maqueda-Abreu explains that as “the human skin is the first physical barrier from the exterior, it also has to be considered as a biological barrier housing beneficial microorganisms, populated by bacteria and different fungus species that stop pathogens from developing.”

And it is here that the treatment; "draws on natural substances with antibacterial activity in the skin, so they can be used as cosmetic and/or pharmaceutical ingredients in the treatment and prophylaxis of these infections."

What this treatment does that others don't..

According to Abreau the natural equilibrium of microorganisms being altered in the skin is what can lead to infections that are sometimes difficult to treat like acne or other very common skin infections produced by Staphylococcus aureus​ or Streptococcus pyogenes​.

And that, in the instance where this bacteria develops and becomes out of control, particularly in areas abundant in sebaceous secretions, current treatments are not always effective because resistance develops or undesirable side effects occur.

It was a scenario like this that the scientists worked to develop a treatment that worked with the skin to enhance “its activity, as well as being a treatment that proved highly efficient in controlling the microorganisms responsible for the skin infections."

Finally, the professor stresses that as the AS-48 protein targets the bacteria cell membrane, pathogen resistance is highly unlikely to develop and the protein itself has a broad spectrum of action against gram-positive bacteria as these include important pathogens such as different species of staphylococcus, streptococcus, clostridia, micobacteriaceae and listeria, amongst others.

Related topics Formulation & Science Skin Care

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