Anyone who has suffered with eczema knows how annoying, embarrassing and unsightly it can be. Itchy, flaky, red and irritated flareups on the skin can ruin your concentration, right along with your confidence to wear skirts or short sleeves, depending on where it attacks. Now, scientists in Stockholm may have found a way to stop one of the main causes of the skin disorder.
The yeast Malassezia sympodialis is one of the usual suspects that triggers an eczema attack. The scientists studied how 21 different peptides-with either cell-penetrating or antimicrobial properties-reacted to the yeast. Peptides are naturally occurring antibiotics often used in skin-care products, thanks to their ability to kill bacteria and fight off viruses.
Of the 21, six peptides killed the yeast without harming human skin cells, which could lead to a huge advancement in the treatment of yeast-induced eczema. “Many questions remain to be solved before these peptides can be used in humans,” said lead researcher Tina Holm of Stockholm University.
“However, the appealing combination of being toxic to the yeast at low concentrations whilst sparing human cells makes them very promising as antifungal agents. We hope that these peptides in the future can be used to ease the symptoms of patients suffering from atopic eczema and significantly increase their quality of life.”
We hope so, too!
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