Today in the ‘human-body-continues-to-be-mind-blowingly-amazing’ department: it turns out the secret to clear, acne-free skin may not lie in a bottle, tube, pill or light source, but inside our own cells.

Nitric oxide (not to be confused with nitrous oxide, a gas used as an anesthetic) is made throughout the human body, and is a powerful weapon against inflammation. By using nanoparticles to make more nitric oxide available in the body, scientists have been able to halt the construction of pathways that lead to the growth of pimples.

"Inflammation is really the driving force behind all types of acne,” said study co-author Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University in Washington D.C. “In this paper, we provide an effective a way to kill the bacterium that serves as a stimulus for acne without using an antibiotic, and demonstrate the means by which nitric oxide inhibits newly recognized pathways central to the formation of a pimple, present in the skin even before you can see the acne.”

While no clinical application is available yet, this research means we’re on our way to a drug-free pimple fighter—great news for the millions of acne sufferers whose sensitive skin can’t tolerate harsh products or antibiotics. Are you on the hunt for a non-irritating acne solution? Have you found any products that really work? Share your finds in the comments.



Health Day: Experimental Treatment Uses Nitric Oxide for Acne