Three scientists at University Hospital Magdeburg are attempting to heal acne using healthy bacteria. The “Magdeburger Volksstimme”, a local newspaper, reported on the scientists’ efforts to rebalance the mix of bacteria on the skin and in this way develop an alternative to current acne treatments which involve drugs based on antibiotics.
According to the paper, the three researchers modelled their approach on the faecal transplantation (or faecal transplant) method already described elsewhere on this website. Here, patients are treated with gut bacteria taken from healthy donors to reduce their own bad bacteria and restore the gut flora’s natural, healthy balance. “We reasoned that what works in the gut should also work on the skin. Because here, too, many diseases correlate with an imbalanced skin flora”, the paper quotes Bernhard Pätzold, one of the three scientists. They transfer bacteria taken from the skin microflora of healthy participants to the skin of people suffering from acne.
Starting in May, a larger study will try to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new therapy. If successful, the novel therapy for acne will first be launched as a cosmetics product, either as a spray or a gel. However, the scientists are also seeking to gain approval as a drug.