Breast milk ingredient may fight acne

April 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

SAN DIEGO, April 17 (UPI) -- An ingredient found in human breast milk and coconut oil shows promise as a cure for acne, researchers at the University of California say.

Dissaya Pornpattananangkul, a postgraduate researcher at the University of California San Diego, reported on the findings at a conference there on Thursday, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph said. She said a face cream containing lauric acid could win speedy approval as an acne treatment because it is compounded from substances found naturally or already approved in other compounds.

"It's a good feeling to know that I have a chance to develop a drug that could help people with acne," she said. "Common acne afflicts more than 85 per cent of teenagers and over 40 million people in the United States; and current treatments have undesirable side effects including redness and burning."

Pornpattananangkul and Liangfang Zhang, a professor at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering, have also developed a "smart delivery" method for the cream. They say attaching the lauric acid to gold nano-particles prevents clumps of acid from forming and helps locate the bacteria that cause pimples.

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