1. Developing new treatment for antibiotic resistant acne
Acne is linked to the pathogenic activities of the P. acnes bacteria in the hair follicles. For more than four decades, topical and oral antibiotics have been the mainstay of acne treatments. However, over time, dermatologists have observed development of antibiotic resistant P. acnes bacteria strains. The current challenge for researchers is developing new drugs, non-antibiotic agents, combination therapies and other treatment regimes for treating antibiotic resistant acne.
2. Addressing side effects of isotretinoin
Isotretinoin is the most effective treatment for severe acne. Unfortunately, the serious side effects linked to isotretinoin use has limited the use of this useful treatment for acne. Studies suggest that this acne medication is linked to behavioral changes that increase risks of suicide and depression. Preventing and managing the side effects of isotretinoin use is one of the new challenges for researchers. Several studies are underway to find an appropriate dose of isotretinoin that treats acne without producing side effects. Researchers are trying to unravel the pathway through which isotretinoin affects the functioning of the hippocampus and other regions of the brain.
3. Laser for treating acne
Researchers are currently studying the role of lasers in treating acne. The ability of the lasers to penetrate deeper into the skin and target a smaller area of the tissue underscore the application of lasers in healing acne. Researchers are working on different types of laser beams that suppress the pathogenic activities of the P. acnes bacteria. Researchers are currently studying the role of potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) green light pulsed laser therapy of 532-nanometer wavelength and yellow light pulsed dye laser (PDL) of 585-nanometer wavelength in treating acne lesions. In the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, researchers have developed a unique 1,708-nanometer laser that penetrates the skin and burns the fat in the sebaceous glands. By altering the sebaceous glands, the laser treatment can inhibit the harmful activities of P. acnes bacteria. However, large scale clinical trials are needed before laser therapy is applied in acne treatment.
Via: University of Michigan
4. Biology of sebaceous glands
Researchers are trying to understand the mechanism that regulates the development of the sebaceous glands. Understanding the functions of the different agents associated with the activities of the sebaceous glands will aid development of new acne therapies.
Via: Dermato Endocrinology
5. Immunopathophysiology of acne
New research is trying to identify the mechanism through which the P. acnes bacteria stimulate the immune system. Identifying the immune basis for the development of the inflammatory skin condition will help to develop therapies that will suppress the activities of pro-inflammatory mediators.
Via: Singapore Immunology Network