Acne is a common skin condition characterized by scaly red skin, blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. People who have it may claim their skin winds up damaged, and may look like dragon’s skin, complete with permanent scarring or pock marks. However, can taurine (specifically, taurine bromamine) help reduce the effects of acne?

Acne can be inflammatory in severe cases and occurs most commonly during adolescence. The skin disorder can cause scarring and impact the long-term health of an individuals’ self-esteem. A variety of treatments can be used to reduce and prevent acne, including medication, antibiotics, salicyclic acid, hormones, retinoids and facial procedures, to name a few.

Because of acne’s widespread prevalence and the emergence of resistant bacteria to frequent antibiotic treatment, researchers at the Department of Immunology Jagiellonian University Medical College in Poland examined the efficacy and safety of taurine bromamine as a novel form of treatment.

A combination of sulfonic acid taurine and hypobromous acid, taurine bromamine (TauBr) is shown to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, helping reduce harmful reactive oxygen species.

For the double-blind study, researchers Janusz Marcinkiewicz et al. recruited 40 participants with mild to moderate inflammatory acne as measured with the Leeds Revised Acne Grading System. The participants were at least 18 years of age, with the average age being 22.7 years. They were split into two groups and either treated with topical taurine bromamine cream (concentration of 3.5 millimolar) or 1% clindamycin gel, a common topical acne antibiotic treatment as control.

The experimental period went on for six weeks, with the treatment applied twice a day. Weekly visits were made to evaluate acne improvement and to record any adverse effects. Efficacy of treatment was determined by assessing the number of papules and pustules on the face.

The effect of taurine bromamine on acne inflamation

After comparing the final results to baseline, researchers Marcinkiewicz, et al., found that both taurine bromamine and clindamycin treatments were associated with a significant reduction in acne at weeks four and six of therapy.

Inflammatory lesions at week four were reduced by 60% in the taurine bromamine group and 49% in the clindamycin group. By the end of treatment, inflammatory lesions were reduced by 65% in the TauBr group and 68% in the clindamycin group. The researchers also found that participants with mild acne benefitted more from both treatments when compared to those with moderate acne.

Based on these results, they conclude that topical taurine bromamine cream is comparable with the popular 1% clindamycin currently administered to individuals with acne. But because clindamycin can lead to bacterial resistance, the researchers believe taurine bromamine may be an alternative option that is just as efficient without inducing tolerance to antibiotics.