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Scientists Say A Cure For Acne Could Be On The Horizon

Rachael Grealish

| Last updated 

Scientists Say A Cure For Acne Could Be On The Horizon

If you've never been one of the fortunate people to enjoy blemish-free baby-soft skin, this could be the news you've been dying to hear.

A vaccine to treat and prevent acne could be one step closer to becoming reality after a recent study has revealed a way to block bacteria which damage the skin, causing the condition.

The teenager within will never be happier than after hearing this news.


For the first time ever, scientists have successfully targeted a type of bacteria which lives in the skin and have (finally) worked out a way to stop it producing toxins which cause inflammation.

The treatment they've come up with is a form of immunotherapy - this uses the body's own immune system to battle the bacteria.

Could this be a reason to put down the toothpaste and give up those aggressive pills? This amazing discovery could the light at the end of a long dark tunnel for the millions of people worldwide who have tried everything to tackle the skin condition.

The study, completed by the University of California in San Diego included a series laboratory tests on mice and human skin taken during biopsies.

Scientists then confirmed sending proteins from the immune system, called antibodies, to an acne-causing bacterium could reduce swelling on the skin and battle the problem from within.

Credit: AlexanderHovanec (Wikimedia Commons)
Credit: AlexanderHovanec (Wikimedia Commons)

For most people the bacteria, known as Propionibacterium acnes, live harmlessly on the skin, but for people with acne it can cause red bumps to flare up - ouch.

In order to do this the bacteria releases a toxin which the experts think they can stop at the root with their new vaccine.

The vaccine sends antibodies to the bacteria and block it from releasing the toxins.

In experiments, using real human skin samples with acne, blocking the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria was successful.

Lead investigator of the study, Chun-Ming Huang, said: "The potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne.

"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 this condition.

"New, safe and efficient therapies are sorely needed."

Credit: Pixabay/@SharonMcCutcheon
Credit: Pixabay/@SharonMcCutcheon

Many people who suffer from acne are currently subjected to a cocktail of treatments to get on top of their sore skin - Retinoid drugs, antibiotics and salicylic and azelaic acids are all current (not very pleasant) treatments for the skin condition.

Acne scars may heal but many people who suffered from the condition are left with lasting psychological and mental health issues - often stemming from bullying and low self-esteem.

Dr Anton Alexandroff, consultant dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson told MailOnline: "We know that acne affects both teenagers and adults, leaving a lasting effect on psychological well-being.

"This opens exciting new avenues of treating acne - including the potential to create an acne vaccine which would prevent acne altogether - which would be fantastic for acne patients in the future."

So if you feel like you've worked your way through the pharmacy shelves for a cure, hold on tight. A solution might be on the horizon.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Topics: acne, Science, World News, News, Health

Rachael Grealish
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