Algae May Solve Acne Problems

December 26, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. emerge [i-MURG] (v.) – to come out and be noticed
Example: The symptoms of the virus emerged after only two weeks of infection.

2. treat [treet] (v.) – to cure or to give medical care for something
Example: Skin infection must be treated immediately.

3. excessive [ik-SES-iv] (adj.) – too much or far from normal
ExampleExcessive eating of oily food may cause pimples.

4. potential [puh-TEN-shuh l] (adj.) – possibility of something
Example: Stress is a potential cause of some illnesses.

5. present [PREZ-uh nt] (adj.) – exists or located in something or some place
Example: Harmful bacteria are present in dirty spoiled food.


Read the text below.
Scientists from Scotland have recently discovered that marine algae [AL-jee] can be an effective treatment for problems related to acne [AK-nee].

Acne, scientifically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a skin disease common among many people, especially among teenagers. Acne usually starts to emerge during puberty, a period in which the oil glands of the skin are most active. Excessive oily liquids produced by the skin often lead to the growth of harmful bacteria that cause acne.

Experts have already discovered treatments for acne that involve the use of formulated acids and drugs to fight pimple-causing bacteria. However, a group of marine scientists from the University of Stirling found a more natural solution through the use of marine algae or seaweeds.

Marine Biotechnology professor Dr. Andrew Desbois [DES-bwah] and his co-researcher recognized how marine algae can help in skin and hair care. During their study, they learned that algae can produce a natural substance that aids in treating acne and in preventing its spread.

The results of the study revealed how algae can boost the production of fatty acids on the skin as defense against unwanted bacteria. Researchers discovered six fatty acids present in the marine algae that can be very helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in preventing the growth of acne.

Some of these components are consumed by eating fish and seaweeds. However, researchers plan to make a potential ointment out of the marine algae that can be applied on skin parts affected by acne.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which acne treatment would you prefer, the formulated drugs or the marine algae? Why?
·         How else do you think acne can be avoided?

Discussion B

·         Do you think using natural treatment is better than synthetic (artificial) medicine? Why is that so?
·         In your opinion, should researchers focus more on finding natural remedies? Why or why not?


December 26, 2013