Natural acne treatment could be on the horizon - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Natural acne treatment could be on the horizon

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Scientists have pinpointed a virus that naturally seeks out and kills pimple-causing bacteria. Scientists have pinpointed a virus that naturally seeks out and kills pimple-causing bacteria.

A new breakthrough treatment for acne may already be living on your skin.

Scientists have pinpointed a virus that naturally seeks out and kills pimple-causing bacteria.

She's the mother of four kids, but it's Andrea Anderson who has acne and has since middle school fighting it several ways.

"Several different prescriptions over the course of about 20 years," says Anderson.

She's now using an antibiotic cream and a retinoid.

"They're not without side effects you know the topical retinoid that goes on at night can be very drying," says Anderson.

Now a more effective and natural cure could be on the horizon and it comes from something already sitting on the surface of our skin.

Scientists have found harmless viruses that live on the surface of our skin, called phages, that can attack and kill the bacteria that help cause acne. Those phages are genetically similar, making it easier to pinpoint how they kill acne bacteria and thereby develop a treatment.

"I think it's very interesting," says Dr. Phil Ecker, a dermatologist with Minnesota Dermatology . "I haven't really thought of treating acne in this way before."

Dr. Ecker says the study, published in the journal M. Bio, holds great promise, but it could be some time before a new treatment is available.

"With the FDA approval process and everything it could be ten to 15 years," says Ecker.

So for those fighting acne now?

"The first place to start is with the typically with the benzoperoxide or the salicylic acid over the counter," says Dr. Ecker.

If those don't work, see a dermatologist like Anderson does.

"The more options the better, the better it will be," says Anderson.

While this research may not help her right now, she said she would be happy if a new more natural treatment becomes available, perhaps in time to help her kids.

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