While acne is generally associated with being an awkward teenager, for a lot of people, it continues into adulthood. Treating acne is complex, and as anyone who has suffered will know, you'll try anything to get rid of it— from strong medication and strict diets to expensive products and out-there treatments.
However, there may be some hope on the horizon. Scientists at the University of California San Diego have been working on a vaccine specifically to treat acne.
"Acne is caused, in part, by P. acnes bacteria that are with you your whole life, and we couldn’t create a vaccine for the bacteria because, in some ways, P. acnes are good for you," Eric C. Huange, the project’s lead researcher, told Allure. "But we found an antibody to a toxic protein that P. acnes bacteria secrete on skin—the protein is associated with the inflammation that leads to acne," he continued.
Essentially, this means that the vaccine will block the acne-causing effects of the bacteria without completely eradicating it.
While the vaccine is still in early stages of development, the scientists have reportedly seen successful results on skin biopsies that they collected from acne patients. The next stage is the clinical trials, which they hope to start in the next few years.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. Adult acne can affect individuals throughout their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, and for women, can be a direct result of menopause. Other factors at play include stress, family history, and even certain hair and skin products that may cause flare-ups.
If you are experiencing chronic issues with adult acne, it's important to see a dermatologist for the best possible treatment.
All in all, were glad to hear that this vaccine seems promising!
This post was written by Elizabeth Bennett. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.