A natural skin virus could be used to fight acne, according to a new study published today.
US researchers found that the phage virus can kill Propionibacterium acnes - the bacteria that cause acne.
They discovered 11 different versions of the virus, which can be used to target the blocked pores that trigger the skin condition.
[Related article: Teen bullied for acne has last laugh as she models at New York Fashion Week]
“Acne affects millions of people, yet we have few treatments that are both safe and effective," said Professor Robert Modlin from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), which conducted the study.
"Harnessing a virus that naturally preys on the bacteria that causes pimples could offer a promising new tool against the physical and emotional scars of severe acne."
Acne occurs when blocked hair follicles on the skin get filled with sebum (oil) that the body creates to try and stop the hair follicle from drying out.
[Related article: How to deal with the onset of adult acne]The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that is found on the skin then contaminates the blocked follicle, causing inflammation and the familiar spots associated with acne sufferers. Over time this can cause permanent damage to the skin including pits and scars.
Now scientists are looking into lab work to determine whether the phage virus can be used as therapy.
Do you have any acne-curing tips to share?
You may also like: