What Foods Are Most Likely to Cause Acne Breakouts?

FRIDAY, Oct. 11, 2019 — Certain eating habits, high levels of stress and exposure to pollution are among the greatest factors associated with acne, researchers say.

They studied links to acne in more than 6,700 people from six countries in Europe and the Americas. The analysis showed that many more people with acne consume dairy products each day than those without acne — 48.2% versus 38.8%.

The same was true for soda, juices or syrups (35.6% versus 31%); pastries and chocolate (37% versus 27.8%); as well as other sweets (29.7% versus 19.1%).

The study also found that 11% of acne sufferers consume whey proteins compared to 7% of those without acne. And 11.9% of acne sufferers use anabolic steroids versus 3.2% of others.

Exposure to pollution and stress was also more common among people with acne, and they were also more likely to use harsh skin care practices.

The findings reflected an association with acne, but not a cause-and-effect link. The study was scheduled to be presented Saturday at a meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), in Madrid.

Lead author Dr. Brigitte Dreno, head of dermatology at University Hospital of Nantes in France, noted that acne is one of the most common reasons people see a dermatologist.

“Its severity and response to treatment may be influenced by internal and external factors, which we call the exposome,” Dreno said in a meeting news release. “For the first time, this study allows us to identify the most important exposome factors relating to acne from patient questioning prior to any treatment prescription.”

Previous research has suggested that tobacco use is an acne trigger, but this study did not link tobacco with acne.

Acne affects about 1 in 10 people worldwide, and as many as 40% of adult women.

“Understanding, identifying and reducing the impact of exposome is important for an adequate acne disease management as it may impact on the course and severity of acne as well as on treatment efficacy,” said Dreno, who is also chair of the meeting’s Scientific Programming Committee.

Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on acne.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Curbing a Skin Oil Might Help Curb Acne, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 — Acne is the bane of many teens, and even some adults. Now, researchers say they might have hit on a new approach to easing the condition.

The key lies in a naturally produced skin oil called sebum, explained a research team led by William Esler, a researcher with drug giant Pfizer in Cambridge, Mass.

Sebum is important to the skin’s health because it helps regulate temperature and repel microbes, the team said. But an excess of sebum production has also long been thought to be a contributor to acne.

“Too much sebum can get trapped in glands, which cause it to swell and cause a bump under the skin,” explained Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist with Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, N.Y.

So, it stands to reason that identifying “a target to decrease sebum production would be a novel approach to treating acne,” said Madan, who wasn’t involved in the new study.

The research involved a microscopic examination of the skin of 22 healthy volunteers. Esler’s team discovered that skin sebum production relies on a specific molecular mechanism known as the de novo lipogenesis (DNL) pathway.

Most sebum was found to be produced by cells called sebocytes, which secreted the oil based on the ebb and flow of the DNL pathway, the researchers explained.

But nine people with acne showed one major difference: Compared to people with normal skin, they had a 20% higher rate of sebum production and a related rise in fluctuations of the DNL pathway, the findings showed.

Going a step further, Esler’s group designed a compound that targeted an enzyme involved in the pathway. In healthy volunteers, application of the treatment cut sebum production by nearly half, according to the report published in the May 15 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Of course, these experiments are early and it remains to be seen if such a compound might curb sebum — and acne — in a larger, more rigorous trial.

In the meantime, Madan said that the approach “has potential.” But he cautioned that “this may be a treatment for acne, but not a cure, because the cause of acne is more than just sebum production. It has potential to be an addition to current treatments.”

Dr. Michele Green is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She agreed that the findings “may offer promise to patients suffering with acne vulgaris.”

More information

There’s more on acne and acne treatment at the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

A Vaccine to Prevent Acne May Be Possible One Day

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Acne and adolescence go hand in hand. But researchers say the skin lesions might become a torment of the past if preliminary tests of an experimental vaccine pan out.

So far, the vaccine has only been tried on animals and human skin samples. It uses antibodies to target a toxin secreted by the bacteria responsible for acne, explained study author Chun-Ming Huang. He’s a professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego.

Potentially, such a vaccine could help the 85 percent of U.S. teens and more than 40 million American adults suffering with the lesions, scars and emotional stigma of acne, he added.

Huang said his team is “actively seeking a company to work with us to conduct a clinical trial.”

According to Huang, “The efficacy of this vaccine has been validated in human acne biopsies. It works to reduce inflammation in acne lesions.”

If the results of clinical trials are positive, it’s possible the vaccine could be available “within three to five years,” he said.

Acne “afflicts 650 million people — almost one in 10 — and is the eighth most common disease worldwide,” Huang noted.

Current treatments — such as skin creams, antibiotics or systemic retinoids — often provoke unpleasant side effects, such as extreme skin dryness and irritation, according to background notes with the study.

For many skin-pocked teenagers and adults, the frustration and shame of uncontrolled acne has been linked to a higher risk for clinical depression and suicide or suicidal thoughts.

The proposed acne vaccine focuses on acne-causing bacteria that is common on human skin, the study authors explained. This bacteria — known as P. acnes — releases a toxin known as CAMP. In theory, the vaccine works by generating antibodies that eliminate this toxin.

“Once the toxin is neutralized, inflammation in the acne lesion will be suppressed,” Huang said.

Testing with mice and human skin samples showed that the vaccine “significantly diminishes” both P. acnes “colonization” and inflammation. Whether such success can be replicated by direct administration to people remains to be seen, however.

Continued

Nevertheless, Huang suggested that acne vaccines that are “bacteria-specific” should mean side effects would be minimal.

Emmanuel Contassot is a dermatology faculty member at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, and author of an editorial accompanying the study.

“Vaccination is a very promising approach” to acne intervention, he said.

“Current treatments consist of antibiotics or retinoids, both being not specific and associated with side effects,” Contassot said. “Targeting P. acnes with a vaccine would be more specific and less toxic than chemical therapies.”

Still, Contassot pointed out that it’s important to understand that P. acnes comes in various strains, some good, some bad.

“The good ones participate actively in skin barrier integrity, notably by preventing [harmful] bacteria to proliferate. The bad ones are involved in acne,” he explained.

Any effective and safe vaccine must target the bad bacteria while preserving the good ones, he stressed. In fact, “targeting the wrong antigen might worsen patients’ condition by disturbing skin integrity,” Contassot added.

On that front, Contassot said Huang and his colleagues appear to be on the right track. But he thinks further research is needed prior to clinical studies.

The new findings were published online Aug. 29 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Chun-Ming (Eric) Huang, Ph.D., professor, department of dermatology, University of California, San Diego; Emmanuel Contassot, Ph.D., faculty of medicine, dermatology department, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Switzerland; Aug. 29, 2018,Journal of Investigative Dermatology, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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How to Take Action Against Acne

FRIDAY, Jan. 26, 2018 — Waiting for acne to clear up on its own can be frustrating, especially for teens who are already self-conscious about their appearance.

Untreated acne can cause low self-esteem and anxiety as well as permanent facial scars. Ignoring it or assuming kids will outgrow it can harm them physically and emotionally. Acne can also continue into the adult years, and be especially problematic for women.

Mild cases with just a few blemishes or blackheads may respond in a month or two to over-the-counter drugstore products with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These are designed to unblock pores and encourage cell turnover.

But deep pimples and inflamed pustules need the strength of prescription products and the know-how of a dermatologist.

Most prescriptions are topical. That means they’re applied to the skin, typically to kill bacteria and/or reduce oil. Often in gel form, they may contain a retinoid (a vitamin A-based ingredient), prescription-strength benzoyl peroxide, or antibiotics. There are many effective combinations that your dermatologist can recommend. If one doesn’t work, another might.

Severe acne, with cysts and nodules, often needs medication in pill form, from antibiotics to the most powerful vitamin A drug called isotretinoin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one 4- or 5-month course of isotretinoin brings about clear skin in 85 percent of patients. However, it can have serious side effects, primarily birth defects, so it’s essential that people taking it don’t become pregnant (or even breast-feed) while on it.

There are also many office procedures that may help, such as lasers and other light therapies; chemical peels; and extractions, which remove stubborn cysts and help prevent scarring.

With so many options, there’s no reason to suffer through this skin condition.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has a section on acne on its website, including the latest treatments.

© 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 2018

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Acne Gives Up Secret That Points to New Treatments

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — In a finding that could lead to new treatments for acne, scientists say they’ve discovered a previously unrecognized way in which bacteria trigger inflammation in the skin.

The skin is the body’s first line of defense against invading germs. But it’s also constantly awash in bacteria of all kinds — and usually puts up no fight.

“It’s a big puzzle as to why we tolerate all these bacteria on our skin,” said lead researcher Dr. Richard Gallo, interim chair of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego.

“Usually, we walk around at peace with them,” Gallo pointed out. “But at certain times, that detente breaks down and you get an infection.”

In its study, Gallo’s team focused on the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. As the name suggests, the bacteria can contribute to acne — as well as certain other infections.

Usually, P. acnes lives on the skin harmlessly. But when the bacteria are caught in certain circumstances — in a clogged pore, surrounded by oil and no air — they can cause the inflammatory response known as acne.

Gallo’s team said it found clues as to why.

In lab experiments, the researchers found that under certain conditions, P. acnes will secrete fatty acids that inhibit two enzymes in keratinocytes — cells that make up most of the skin’s outermost layer. That, in turn, boosts the cells’ inflammatory reactions.

“Basically,” Gallo said, “we’ve discovered a new way that bacteria trigger inflammation.”

The findings, according to Gallo, may help explain the process underlying acne and folliculitis — an inflammation of a hair follicle that causes pimple-like bumps or other skin symptoms.

The study was published online Oct. 28 in the journal Science Immunology.

Dr. Adam Friedman is an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. He said any time scientists better understand the “why,” it can trigger the development of new treatments.

Friedman, who was not involved in the new study, said the findings “open many doors” for future research.

Continued

There are already a number of treatments for acne that do work somewhere along the pathway described in this study, Friedman said. They may target excess oil in the pores, the bacteria itself, or the skin’s inflammatory response.

But there haven’t been any truly new approaches to the acne battle for a while, according to Friedman. “The more medications we have to choose from, the better,” he said.

On a broader level, Friedman said, this study illustrates how the human body’s resident bacteria are not just along for the ride.

P. acnes is not just a bystander,” he pointed out. “This one organism can actually change how our immune system works.”

“We’re basically a planet to all of these bacteria, and we tolerate them,” Friedman said. “Now we’re discovering more about how they can actually regulate us.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Richard Gallo, M.D., Ph.D., interim chair, dermatology, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; Adam Friedman, M.D., associate professor, dermatology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, D.C.; Oct. 28, 2016, Science Immunology, online

Copyright © 2013-2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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FDA OKs Non-Prescription Use of Acne Drug

By Margaret Farley Steele

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Good news for acne sufferers: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an over-the-counter retinoid drug for acne — the first new active ingredient available without a prescription since the 1980s.

The drug — Differin Gel 0.1% (adapalene) — has been in use in a stronger form as a prescription acne treatment since 1996, the FDA said Friday. It is applied to the skin once a day and approved for people 12 and older.

“Millions of consumers, from adolescents to adults, suffer from acne,” Dr. Lesley Furlong, of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. “Now, consumers have access to a new safe and effective over-the-counter option.”

As many as 50 million people in the United States have acne, the majority of them teenagers and young adults. The telltale pimples form when hair follicles of the skin clog up, marring the face, neck, back, chest and/or shoulders.

The common skin condition can cause scarring and lead to poor self-image, depression and anxiety, the FDA pointed out.

Retinoids, which contain vitamin A-like chemicals, are used to treat a variety of skin conditions.

The FDA cautioned that women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding should ask a doctor before using Differin Gel 0.1%. No well-controlled studies of the drug have been conducted in pregnant women, and some other retinoid drugs have been shown to cause birth defects, the agency said.

The gel’s approval followed five clinical trials in people with mild to moderate acne. One study showed that absorption is limited, a finding that supports over-the-counter use, the FDA said.

Those using Differin Gel 0.1% should avoid sunburn. Also, skin may become irritated during the first few weeks of use, the agency said.

Dr. Doris Day is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She said, “Differin Gel has had an excellent safety profile and will be a great addition to the over-the-counter options for those suffering with acne who are unable to get to a dermatologist.”

Day noted that the over-the-counter version is a lower concentration of the medication available by prescription at 0.3% strength.

“You still need to be aware to see your dermatologist if the acne does not clear or if the acne is scarring,” she added. “And, it is very important to use sunscreen on a daily basis when using this product.”

Differin Gel 0.1% is distributed by Galderma Laboratories L.P., in Fort Worth, Texas.

WebMD Health

FDA OKs Non-Prescription Use of Acne Drug

FRIDAY July 8, 2016, 2016 — Good news for acne sufferers: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an over-the-counter retinoid drug for acne — the first new active ingredient available without a prescription since the 1980s.

The drug — Differin Gel 0.1% (adapalene) — has been in use in a stronger form as a prescription acne treatment since 1996, the FDA said Friday. It is applied to the skin once a day and approved for people 12 and older.

“Millions of consumers, from adolescents to adults, suffer from acne,” Dr. Lesley Furlong, of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. “Now, consumers have access to a new safe and effective over-the-counter option.”

As many as 50 million people in the United States have acne, the majority of them teenagers and young adults. The telltale pimples form when hair follicles of the skin clog up, marring the face, neck, back, chest and/or shoulders.

The common skin condition can cause scarring and lead to poor self-image, depression and anxiety, the FDA pointed out.

Retinoids, which contain vitamin A-like chemicals, are used to treat a variety of skin conditions.

The FDA cautioned that women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding should ask a doctor before using Differin Gel 0.1%. No well-controlled studies of the drug have been conducted in pregnant women, and some other retinoid drugs have been shown to cause birth defects, the agency said.

The gel’s approval followed five clinical trials in people with mild to moderate acne. One study showed that absorption is limited, a finding that supports over-the-counter use, the FDA said.

Those using Differin Gel 0.1% should avoid sunburn. Also, skin may become irritated during the first few weeks of use, the agency said.

Dr. Doris Day is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She said, “Differin Gel has had an excellent safety profile and will be a great addition to the over-the-counter options for those suffering with acne who are unable to get to a dermatologist.”

Day noted that the over-the-counter version is a lower concentration of the medication available by prescription at 0.3% strength.

“You still need to be aware to see your dermatologist if the acne does not clear or if the acne is scarring,” she added. “And, it is very important to use sunscreen on a daily basis when using this product.”

Differin Gel 0.1% is distributed by Galderma Laboratories L.P., in Fort Worth, Texas.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology talks about remedying acne scars.

Posted: July 2016

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Many Acne Patients Don’t Take Their Meds, Survey Shows


Many Acne Patients Don’t Take Their Meds

Cost, forgetfulness, skin improvement were reasons cited for lapses

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Many acne patients do not take all their recommended medications, a small new study suggests.

Researchers surveyed 143 acne patients and found that 27 percent of them did not obtain or use all of the prescription and over-the-counter products suggested by their dermatologists.

“Non-adherence is a pervasive problem in all of medicine, particularly when treating chronic conditions such as acne,” study author Dr. Steven Feldman, a professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., said in a Wake Forest news release.

“A previous study reported a 10 percent primary non-adherence rate for acne patients, so we were surprised that what we found was more than twice that,” Feldman added.

In this latest study, patients who were prescribed two medications were most likely to not get or use a medication (40 percent), compared with 31 percent of those prescribed three or more medications and 9 percent of those prescribed one medication.

There were no significant differences in medication non-adherence based on age or gender, according to the researchers.

The investigators also found that patients were less likely to fill prescriptions for topical medications (creams, lotions) than for pills. In addition, over-the-counter products were less likely to be obtained than prescription drugs, and paper prescriptions were less likely to be filled than electronic ones.

The study was published online March 20 in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

“The study showed that patients are more inclined to follow the treatment regimen when only one medication is prescribed,” Feldman said. “Multiple agents are typically required to address the multiple factors that cause acne, but simplifying treatment regimens by prescribing products that contain two or more active ingredients could prove effective in reducing non-adherence.”

The researchers did not examine why acne patients did not get their prescriptions filled, but many participants said it was due to things such as cost, forgetfulness, already having similar medicines, not agreeing with the prescribed treatment and improvement of their acne.

WebMD Health

Better Contraceptive Knowledge Can Aid in Safe Use of Acne Drug: Study


Contraceptive Knowledge and Safe Use of Acne Drug

Effective birth control key in using the medication, which is linked to birth defects

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Researchers say giving birth control information to women visiting dermatology clinics can help promote the safe use of the drug isotretinoin, an acne medication known to cause birth defects.

Isotretinion was originally sold under the brand name Accutane. That particular brand has been discontinued, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, the drug is still available under other brand names, including Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret and Zanatane.

The FDA requires women of childbearing age to sign a pledge that they will use two forms of contraception when taking isotretinoin because the medication is known to cause birth defects.

The study included 100 female patients from one dermatology clinic. Their average age was about 27, and nearly two-thirds had a college education. Their knowledge about eight methods of birth control was assessed before and after they read an information sheet about contraception.

Before seeing the information sheet, the women correctly judged the effectiveness of about half of the birth control methods. After reading the information sheet for about half a minute, the study found that the women’s ability to identify the effectiveness of the birth control methods increased by as much as 33 percent, depending on the form of birth control.

Some of the biggest increases in knowledge were for contraceptive implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), the contraceptive patch, oral birth control pills and even condoms, the researchers found.

“A contraceptive information sheet can significantly improve patients’ contraceptive knowledge and may be a useful addition to efforts to prevent isotretinoin-induced birth defects,” Dr. Carly Werner, from the University of Pittsburgh, and her co-authors concluded.

Another expert agreed.

“Despite rigorous measures for documentation of birth control measures, we know that isotretinoin pregnancies continue to occur,” said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “The unfortunate side effect is that many who would do very well from taking this medication don’t get access to it because many doctors are not willing or able to go through all the paperwork and requirements required.”

WebMD Health

How to Manage the Emotional Effects of Acne

By Mary Jo DiLonardo
WebMD Feature

If you’re having an outbreak of acne, there’s a lot you can do to keep it from putting a dent in your self-esteem. There’s no need to let blemishes stop you from keeping up your social life.

Take these steps to manage your emotions while you manage your skin problems:

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Get treatment. First, see a dermatologist to help clear up your skin.

“The absolute best way to improve negative feelings about acne is to treat it,” says David Pariser, MD, a former president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Be patient. It may take 6 to 8 weeks until you start to see results, but there are all kinds of pills, creams, and other treatments that can help.

Cover up. Many safe products can hide your outbreaks and won’t make your acne worse.

“I think that covering up and helping to camouflage is a huge part of helping you face the world in the morning,” says New York-based dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD.

When choosing makeup, look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label. That means it won’t clog your pores.

It’s also a good idea to use makeup that is oil-free and water-based. You can also hide outbreaks with sunscreens, moisturizers, and spot acne treatments that are tinted.

Talk to other people. When you have acne, you may feel like being by yourself. But it’s a much better idea to be around other people.

“Being social and being able to share anxiety with friends helps,” Bowe says. “It’s OK even if it’s anonymously through an online forum or talking to someone about what they did to take action.” Ask your doctor for suggestions for online groups if you don’t want to talk to people in person about your situation.

De-stress.Stress doesn’t cause acne, but it can make the outbreaks you already have worse. That can make you even more stressed.

“And what goes along with stress are habitual behaviors like picking and squeezing, which makes acne so much worse,” says Adam Friedman, MD, director of dermatologic research at Montefiore Medical Center.

So find activities that make you relax and feel better. Do yoga or tai chi, listen to music, or try deep-breathing exercises. Take up a calming hobby and make time for it every day.

Take care of yourself. It may seem like common sense, but it’s important to take care of more than just your skin. Taking care of your whole body can help your face.

“Eating well, exercising, and getting adequate sleep will help your skin and make you feel better about yourself,” says San Diego dermatologist Jeffrey Benabio, MD. “Also, there have been many studies that show regular meditation can reduce anxiety and improve one’s sense of well-being.”

Get help if you need it. If you find that you won’t leave the house, are sad or angry all the time, or won’t do things you normally like to do, talk to your doctor. You may need to talk to a counselor or therapist.

Realize you’re not the only one. “People think they’re doing something wrong because they have acne as an adult,” says Friedman. “But adult acne is extremely common and you’re not alone.” About three out of four people over 20 get acne sometime during their adult lives.

WebMD Health

Virus Fights Acne

Sept. 25, 2012 — Viruses that kill acne-causing bacteria might make a powerful acne treatment, new research suggests.

A specific species of bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, is a major cause of the unpleasant, sometimes disfiguring disease doctors call acne vulgaris. The bacteria live inside the pits in the skin that contain hair follicles and sweat glands.

But the acne bug has an enemy: a kind of virus called a bacteriophage, or phage for short. Phages inject their genetic material into bacteria, forcing them to make more and more new phages until they burst.

Now UCLA researchers Laura Marinelli, PhD, Robert Modlin, MD, and colleagues have taken a close look at 11 different phages that kill acne bacteria. They find that unlike most phages, the ones capable of killing P. acnes are closely related to one another, with relatively little difference in their genetic makeup.

Most of the phages were able to kill most strains of acne bacteria.

“Phages are programmed to target and kill specific bacteria, so P. acnes phages will attack only P. acnes bacteria, but not others like E. coli,” Marinelli says.

These properties “makes these phages ideal candidates for the development of a phage-based topical anti-acne therapy,” Marinelli, Modlin, and colleagues suggest.

The phages also make an enzyme that dissolves the cell walls of acne bacteria. This enzyme itself might make a good acne treatment, the researchers suggest.

The new findings appear in the September/October issue of mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

WebMD Health

Skin Doctor Offers Tips to Reduce Acne

SATURDAY Sept. 15, 2012 — People with acne who scrub their skin or use abrasive skin care products can actually aggravate their condition, an expert warns.

Opting for a gentle cleanser is just one of several simple changes acne sufferers can make to improve their complexion, noted Dr. Amanda Friedrichs, a dermatologist in private practice in Sycamore, Ill.

“It’s very common for patients with acne to scrub their skin and to use harsh products, yet doing so often makes acne worse,” Friedrichs said in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology. “In order for acne to improve, people with acne must be gentle when touching their skin and use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free.”

Friedrichs also suggested other tips for healthy skin, including:

  • Wash your face twice a day and immediately after sweating.
  • Avoid astringents, toners and exfoliants, which can irritate the skin. Also, apply facial cleanser with your fingertips instead of a washcloth, sponge or brush.
  • Use lukewarm water, not very hot water.
  • Because oily hair can make acne worse, wash your hair every day if needed.
  • Do not pick at your face or squeeze your acne. Letting your skin heal naturally allows it to clear up quicker and prevents scarring.
  • Avoid touching your face, which can increase the risk of flare-ups.
  • Do not use indoor tanning beds, which can damage your skin and increase your risk for skin cancer. Keep in mind certain acne medications make the skin extra sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) light.

“Make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist if your acne makes you shy or embarrassed, the products you’ve tried haven’t worked, or your acne is leaving scars or darkening your skin,” Friedrichs advised. “Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated.”

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about acne.

Posted: September 2012

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Thyme’s Time as an Acne Remedy May Be Coming Soon

Study Shows Thyme Fights Acne-Causing Bacteria

April 12, 2012 — The next new acne treatment may be found in the produce section of your food store.

Largely due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, the herb thyme — which is found with other herbs in the produce section of most food stores — may well earn itself a place in the skin care section of your local drug store.

Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K. steeped thyme, marigold, and myrrh in alcohol to make what’s called a tincture, and then tested them on the bacteria that cause acne. They all had greater antibacterial effect after five minutes compared to lab specimens exposed to plain alcohol, but thyme was the most potent.

In fact, the thyme tincture was more powerful than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient in many acne products. The new findings were presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin.

“If thyme tincture is proven to be as clinically effective as our findings suggest, it may be a natural alternative to current treatments,” researcher Margarita Gomez-Escalada, PhD, says in a news release. “The problem with treatments containing benzoyl peroxide is the side effects they are associated with,” namely a burning sensation and skin irritation.

“Herbal preparations are less harsh on the skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties, while our results suggest they can be just as, if not more, effective than chemical treatments,” she says.

But some U.S. dermatologists are quick to caution that while intriguing, this research is still preliminary, and thyme-tinged acne treatments are not yet ready for prime time.

Save Thyme for Cooking?

Alan Shalita, MD, is the distinguished teaching professor and chairman of the department of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York.

So what does he think about the thyme tincture? “It’s intriguing.”

But if you have acne, your first stop should be the skin care aisle in your drug store, not the produce section of your food store. “Choose a cleanser with salicylic acid followed by a mild benzoyl peroxide leave-on product,” he says. “If that doesn’t work, see a dermatologist for prescription medications.”

Joshua Zeichner, MD, says that time will tell if thyme holds promise as an acne treatment. “More research needs to be done to evaluate thyme, but it is an exciting prospect and would be a welcome addition.” Zeichner is an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.

Don’t try thyme at home. “How it works in the lab setting is very different than how it works on your skin,” he says.

Amy Forman Taub, MD, agrees. She is the medical director of Advanced Dermatology and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School, both in Chicago. “We always need more treatments for acne because there are so many people who suffer with it.”

Is thyme the solution for these people? Taub isn’t sure. “We are far away from developing a preparation that contains thyme, but this is interesting,” she says.

Michele Green, MD, is less cautious. She is ready to call on a compounding pharmacist to develop a thyme-based acne treatment right now. “Benzoyl peroxide is drying and irritating, and an herbal treatment could be fabulous,” she says. Green is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

WebMD Health

Study suggest acne itself, not medications, may up suicide risk in teens

depression, rather than the treatments with which those symptoms had been previously linked. Older studies have linked acne drugs to increased risk of mental health side effects, but the correlation has not been confirmed in a controlled setting. The
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