Women who undergo a treatment called topical corticosteroid/steroid injection (ODS/SS) for acne are protected against autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, a new study by Pfizer suggests.
Researchers gave 153 healthy women aged 16 to 29 a course of three treatment regimens containing corticosteroids, and monitored their blood samples. After 16 weeks, the researchers discovered that women who received dosing without a steroid derivative were protected from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, two autoimmune diseases that affect up to 20 million Americans.
According to researcher Molly Driscoll, the study is proof that the Sclerostin treatment that is used to treat acne and other skin conditions is useful for treating autoimmune diseases. She says that the drug “can be used to treat any skin disease that affects the joints.” In early studies, this would include patients who have Type 1 diabetes, a number of different sclerosis types, and gastrointestinal disorders. While the study is preliminary, Driscoll says that her team is continuing to monitor the participants and is now testing a control group of women who have not received the corticosteroid treatment.
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