According to researchers at UC San Diego, 85% of people experienced the wrath of acne at some point in their life. For others, it’s been an ongoing issue that doesn’t seem to let up, and then there’s that 15% that somehow got lucky and bypassed zits, pimples, cysts and all.
Well, for those that are well acquainted with acne, there have been major strides made in treating it. Whether it’s Accutane, antibiotics, or topical retinoids like Differin, there are various ways to handle outbreaks, but researchers have noted that “there are no appropriate therapeutic modalities that are long-lasting and systemically effective” at reducing P. acnes bacteria (the causative bacterial agent in acne vulgaris). So, when it comes to the treatments, they are usually reactive and are used after acne lesions are present. Not to mention, when the treatment is concluded, acne always has the potential to come back even more aggressive.
However, the aforementioned researchers have revealed that there’s an acne vaccine in the works. Now that’s pretty revolutionary stuff, right?
P. acnes secrete a toxic protein on the skin that causes inflammation, but the vaccine would serve as an antibody to the protein, Allure reports. The vaccine won’t kill the bacteria itself, as P. acnes is beneficial in some ways – it’s the gram-positive bacteria found in your hair, neck, face, and intestines, and some strains even destroy viruses trying to enter the skin, one of the lead researchers, Eric C. Huang explained. But the acne vaccine will be able to do more than prevent pimples, helping with with endocarditis, endophthalmitis, osteomyelitis, as well as joint, nervous system, and cranial neurosurgery infections.
Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder and director of Capital Laser Skin Care and associate clinical professor, department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, shared her thoughts on the vaccine, offering “Acne is a multifactorial condition, meaning that it is usually caused by a multitude of things (hormones, excessive sebum, bacterial overgrowth, clogged pores, inflammation), and since not all acne is caused by each of these issues, it will be difficult to have a vaccine that treats all forms of acne.” But, if proven to be successful, Tanzi is on board for recommending it: “Acne causes severe psychologic stress to millions of young people every year (not to mention the lasting effects of the scars). If it can be avoided, that would be an amazing gift to millions of people who would otherwise have to suffer.”
Ladies, what do you think? Would you try an acne vaccine?