THE RISE OF SUPER ACNE; Skin bacteria now more resistant to antibiotics.
Byline: HANNAH STUBBS
IT is the scourge of teenagers everywhere - and the bad news is that acne is getting even better at ruining complexions.
Four in five acne patients carry bacteria that does not react to the three most common antibiotics used to fight the problem, research shows.
And the number is rising, with the super-strong strain spread from person to person by direct contact.
Doctors are warned to limit use of antibiotics in treating the condition.
Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists said: "The growing resistance to antibiotics among skin patients is of concern.
Eighty per cent of teenagers experience acne and while for most it disappears with age, for some it continues well into adulthood. This is a problem that needs to be managed."
Antibiotics have been used to tackle acne for more than 40 years, targeting the propionibacterium which causes it.
Antibiotics commonly used for acne include erythromycin, clindamycin and tetracyclines. The study by dermatologists in Harrogate, North Yorks, showed 79.5% of skin patients carry bacteria resistant to one or both the first two.
There was a sharp peak in bacteria resistant to tetracyclines in 2011, though the reason is so far unclear.
Co-author Dr Alison Layton said: "These results highlight the need to use antibiotics judiciously when managing acne."
A separate study has found a rise in resistant bacteria that causes other skin conditions.
Researchers looking at staphylococcus aureus bacteria at King's College Hospital in London found 30% of samples taken from dermatology patients last year were resistant to erythromycin compared with 17% in 2007.
IN A SPOT Acne