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Antibiotics losing their power against acne

Acne has always been a major problem with teenagers. Pimples have been described by teens as an embarrassing and nagging problem. With beauty business becoming a multi billion-dollar industry, every one wants a blemish less skin and a spotless complexion. Every year a new Indian girl wins an international beauty pageant and the focus now is on looking your best.

Pimples (acne) spoil the beautiful faces of many and severe acne is characterized by pustular sores and scarring. Only two major therapies are available at the movement to treat them - antibiotics and vitamin A. Both treatments have side effects. Vitamin A therapy in particular has been linked to birth defects, so must be prescribed with caution in women of childbearing age.

Commonly used antibiotics like erythromycin and tetracycline are now becoming increasingly powerless against acne causing skin bacteria - Propionibacterium acnes. Researchers led by Dr. Carl Erik Nord of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden studied this growing antibiotic resistance on the part of P.acnes and have opined that the used of antibiotics to treat acne should be restricted and other regimens should be tested. The findings were presented on May 23rd at the annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology.

The implication of these findings is that at some point in the future, antibiotics could become useless in the fight against acne. Dr. Nord and his team recommend, that dermatologists should closely monitor the drug resistance of bacterium as they treat individual patients. If resistance to a particular drug develops, the physician should consider switching the patient to an alternate antibiotic or an alternate therapy.

The scientists are also probing the possibility of harnessing a therapeutic vaccine to prevent acne. If successful, this can prove to be an effective solution for millions of patients, most of them teenagers, suffering from physical and psych ological trauma of severe acne.

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