A controversial proposal published on Medscape.com, a web resource for physicians and other health professionals, has called for the discontinuation of antibiotics to treat acne. The proposal by Muneeza Muhammad, BA and Ted Rosen, MD, suggests that dermatologists should severely curtail or outright discontinue the routine and regular use of antibiotics for acne.
Given the numerous possible side effects of antibiotics and the prevalence and worsening of P. acnes (the bacteria that causes acne) resistance worldwide, the proposal prompts doctors to think more carefully about their prescribing habits.
Dr Robin Stones, Dermatologist and Medical Director at Courthouse Clinics says; "Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global problem, which is a cause for serious concern. The emergence of the so-called "superbugs" which are resistant to most antibiotics and therefore difficult to treat is a major threat to health. In many areas of the world more than 50% of acne bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the condition and the rates are continuing to rise."
The proposal highlights a number of alternative therapies that are easy to use and effective in treating acne. This includes the use of photodynamic light therapy to treat acne.
Scientists have found that visible blue light at a wavelength of 420nm does not cause damage to the skin but is effective in killing the bacteria which causes acne. Blue light has been used by leading dermatologists for many years to treat acne. The bacteria that cause acne produce a chemical called porphyrin. When blue light is applied at a specific wavelength to this porphyrin it becomes excited and as clinical results show, the active porphyrin destroy the acne causing bacteria.
Lustre Pro (£349 www.thelustreclinic.com) is the latest innovation from Ambicare Health. It has been developed by healthcare professionals and provides an at-home solution for acne. Lustre Pro harnesses the safe, natural part of the visible light spectrum- "blue light"- using clinically proven technology to eliminate spot-causing bacteria. Revolutionising acne maintenance, clinical trials with using Lustre Pro blue light at 415 nm prove acne sufferers can achieve a 60% improvement in inflammatory acne, and a 50% improvement in comedone counts after 12 weeks of daily use for as little as 20 minutes.
The device is a small, rechargeable product with slim, flexible pads that directly target problem areas with no pain or downtime. Lustre Pro is portable and the blue light is delivered while the product is worn, giving users the freedom to get on with everyday tasks.
"There is little general awareness of the use of various wavelengths of light to effectively treat inflammatory acne" says Dr Stones. "Blue and red light are both helpful as they specifically kill the acne bacteria via a photodynamic effect. At Courthouse Clinics we combine conventional prescription treatments with blue and red light therapies in clinic, in conjunction with Lustre Pro (Ambicare Health) which is useful adjunct to clinic based treatments as it is simple and convenient to use."
Gary Conroy from Ambicare says: "Blue light is a proven technology invented by leading dermatologists and physicists that has been used successfully for many years as an acne treatment. The on-going issue for patients has been related to the accessibility and cost of this treatment, which results in the acne sufferer visiting the hospital or clinic up to 16 times for the recommended treatment dose with a potential cost of £800. Lustre Pure Light is a technological breakthrough that delivers constant access to blue light technology in a hands free device that can be worn at home to keep the condition under control at a considerably reduced cost. Lustre has no risk of side effects using clinically proven technology to eliminate spot-causing bacteria, while also being gentle on skin."
Lustre Pro is available though specialist skin clinics nationwide, find your nearest clinic at www.thelustreclinic.com a forum that offers interactive support and solutions for acne sufferers from a team of skin, make up and style experts.