Better acne treatments may be on the way thanks to world’s first study of sufferers’ DNA
13th December 2018

Experts believe new drugs could be developed after analysis of the genes of 26,772 people — 5,602 with a severe form of the skin condition — pinpointed a “significant” risk factor.

It found sufferers were more likely to have genetic variants which influence hair follicle formation.

Millions could benefit from new drugs as four in five people will get acne between the ages of 11 and 30.

Severe cases can cause distress and lead to permanent scarring.

The most effective current treatment is Roaccutane but it can cause muscle aches and dry skin.

Derma­tologist Professor Jonathan Barker, of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, led the study with experts at King’s College London. He said there had been few advances in the treatment of acne for decades.

He added: “When you have insight into the genetic basis of a condition, you can develop much more effective treatments.

“We need to treat people earlier so that they don’t get scars, which last even after the condition has gone.”

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