Scientific breakthrough leads to skin care line made from centipede poop

photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Scientists in Korea say they have now commercialised cosmetics using an antibiotic substance found in the centipede species scolopendra subspinipes.

The centipedes have long been known for their anti-bacterial properties, which have been used in traditional Korean medicines for many generations, but now science has widened its applications.

The scientific team decided to focus on both the centipedes antibacterial property, as well as its ability to increase blood circulation, which they believe could help fight a number of dermatitis related conditions.

Wide ranging skin care applications

The team is working for Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA), and according to a report in Korea Bizwire, the newly developed substance could be used in a variety daily skin care products.

The extracted substance that the team has been working with is known as scolopendrasin I, a peptide excreted by the centipedes that has the ability to fight a number of strains of bacteria.

In particular, scientists have already noted that this substance has proven effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, as well as treating skin bacteria with increased tolerance to existing antibiotics.

Fighting bacteria-derived skin conditions

The presence of such bacteria can cause a number of common skin conditions, including edema, which leads to a build-up of fluid under the skin and potentially unsightly swelling and discomfort.

The scientists say that there clinical trials showed that the injection of lab mice, the presence of such related skin conditions was significantly reduced, with edema-related swelling decreasing by up to 82%.

Following on from the clinical trials, the administration filed for a patent in 2013 for scolopendrasin I, which has resulted in licensing deals with several companies, including a cosmetic manufacturing that recently launched an antibiotic skin care line.

According to the RDA two other manufacturers are currently in the midst of producing product lines for commercialization.

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