Could a New Vaccination Be the Final Cure For Acne?

Man looking in mirror, drying his face with a towel
Man looking in mirror, drying his face with a towel PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson / Getty Images

There are thousands, of grooming products that claim to clear blemishes for smooth, spotless skin. But more often than not, they don’t. Acne’s a difficult condition to remedy, because it can be spurred and aggravated by a host of factors, including diet, hygiene, hormones, and genetics.

However, dermatologists are hopeful a new vaccination could be a successful treatment for stubborn blemishes.

 

 

The vaccine works by targeting acne-causing bacteria that’s always present on our skin, according to a recent study published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. It’s called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria. And it releases a toxin that causes our body to respond with inflammation (hence, bumps and zits).

In the study, done on mice and human skin cells (ex vivo), scientists introduced antibodies to dampen inflammation. And it worked. Rather than serving as a spot treatment, like most topical remedies, the vaccination would be long-lasting.

“Current treatment options are often not effective or tolerable for many of the 85 percent of adolescents and more than 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from [acne],” lead researcher Chung Ming-Huang said in a press release. “New, safe, and efficient therapies are sorely needed.”

A number of acne medications, like antibiotics and retinoids, have been known to have harmful side effects, like depression, birth defects, and suicidal thoughts. The new vaccination will most likely have its own array of side effects, but researchers are determined to wipe out any severe symptoms that could have harmful results.

The vaccination will eventually enter human trials, so we’re still a ways off from having the vaccination. Hopefully, acne will be a thing of the past for teens in the future.