Last Updated on January 6th, 2020
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a growing concern. Many strains of bacteria that were once responsive to common antibiotics are rapidly becoming resistant. And it just so happens that the root cause of acne is often a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes and unfortunately it appears to be evolving and becoming resistant to antibiotics.
The proportion of resistant strains of these gram-positive bacteria is on the rise. According to a 10-year long study in England, the proportion of resistant P. acnes rose from 34.5% in 1991 to 55.5% in the year 2000. These bacteria were found to be resistant to many commonly used antibiotics such as erythromycin and clindamycin. This is particularly bad news in light of the fact that these very same antibiotics are used to treat many serious Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MERSA) infections.
Many recent publications in Dermatology Today attest to the fact that antibiotics are one of the first-line therapies to treat acne. The overuse of these antibiotics runs a risk of creating resistant strains that will only confound the problem. As a result, many dermatologists are trying to implement alternative and combination therapies to limit the development of resistance as well as to improve patient outcomes. The combination regimens often involve the use of a topical antibacterial agent and a systemic anti-inflammatory agent to wage a two-way attack on acne.
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Although these established treatments have been used by specialists for a long time, newer strategies look promising. Many dermatological companies are trying to implement different approaches to tackling acne. The acne market that is stipulated to reach a mind-boggling $3.02 Billion in 2016 according to the forecast by Research and Markets, would certainly see some players adopting a much different approach.
An interesting alternative approach taken by Oculus Innovative Sciences (OCLS), involving products based on Microcyn ® technology, is gaining significant traction. The company has developed a number of products to treat skin itching, scarring, inflammation and infection based on the Microcyn ® technology. Acne has some hallmarks that are very similar to all these conditions and hence, this breaking technology seems to have a future in acne treatment.
The Microcyn ® technology centers around synthesizing a pH neutral solution, an acid called hypochlorous acid (HOCl). This is a naturally occurring acid that has some very effective antibacterial properties. It is synthesized naturally by the white blood cells (Neutrophils) to fight bacteria.
A number of studies on the use of hypochlorous acid have been done. In an 89-patient study, Microcyn performed better than the leading acne treatment – benzoyl peroxide, although the study failed to show any statistical significance in reducing inflammatory lesions. However, HOCl was found to be very effective in rapidly killing bacteria in the study by targeting non-specific molecules on the bacterial cell wall. HOCL is known to reach a number of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA, and fatty acids and is rendered completely neutral once the reaction ends.
The lack of a specific target for HOCl and its non-specificity theoretically exempts it from resistance as reported by McKenna back in 1998. It’s fair to assume that Oculus’s claims that HOCL is far less likely to give rise to resistant strains of bacteria have some merit.
The USFDA has approved one of the products of Oculus for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (commonly called eczema), scar and advanced wound management. The company also manufactures a number of antibacterial drugs including doxycycline monohydrate, which is said to reduce the development of resistant strains.
There are many alternatives and medications that are available today and that are being researched to treat acne, but the true alternative is to prevent acne from appearing in the first place. With a complete acne care system, you can prevent the outbreak of acne and avoid all the complications that come with it.
Making sure that your skin is clean and your pores are not clogged, you can maintain healthy, acne-free skin. The right skin treatment serum will also help you to remove any discolorations from old acne scars and unclog the pores. Probiotics can prevent the inflammation and reddening around pimples and microdermabrasion can get rid of those scars left by old pimples.
Exposed Skin Care is one of the best all-in-one skincare system that provides you with everything you need, although you’ve probably heard much more about Proactiv kits. Either way, at just about 1/3 the cost of an acne heat treatment or other expensive solutions, it’s definitely worth considering.