Reporter 410, 17 November 1997


A spot of research

The scourge of teenagers throughout the ages could be banished from the face of the earth if researchers are successful in their mission to find a cure for acne. Almost half a million pounds of National Health Service money has been invested in the study, which could have long-term benefits for the self-confidence of the nation’s spotty youth.

Project co-ordinator and microbiologist Dr Anne Eady says: “Virtually all teenagers have some degree of acne, about 90 per cent. It causes a lot of anguish and can even trigger suicidal tendencies.”

A multi-disciplinary team formed jointly by the University of Leeds and the University of Nottingham is conducting a clinical trial of different treatments for acne. Around 3,000 acne-ridden youths from Leeds and Nottingham are taking part in the tests, which began in August.

The award of £433,000 by the NHS Research and Development Health Technology Assessment programme is the first of its kind to support research into acne treatments. To date, nobody has compared the various antibiotic products used to treat the condition. Yet every day desperate teenagers pay chemists around £100,000 for a myriad of creams and tablets which may or may not improve their complexions.

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