When your hormones are going through the roof, there's a good chance you'll see spots appearing all over your body and likely on your face. Unfortunately, even with the best treatment, your skin will struggle to cope and you'll just have to ride it out. But what if there was a vaccine that could save you any humiliation or embarrassment? Turns out it might just be around the corner.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that scientists have made crucial progress in developing an acne vaccine.
"Once validated by a large-scale clinical trial, the potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne vulgaris," says lead investigator Dr. Chun-Ming Huang, from the Department of Dermatology, University of California and Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan.
"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 multi-factorial cutaneous inflammatory condition. New, safe, and efficient therapies are sorely needed."
Although not life-threatening, acne can be detrimental to mental health, affecting self-esteem and impact social development.
Current medication has either intolerable side-effects or only provides a short term solution.
"While addressing an unmet medical need and providing an appealing approach, acne immunotherapies that target P. acnes-derived factors have to be cautiously designed to avoid unwanted disturbance of the microbiome that guarantees skin homeostasis. Whether or not CAMP factor-targeted vaccines will impact multiple P. acnes subtypes and other commensals has to be determined, but acne immunotherapy presents an interesting avenue to explore nonetheless," wrote Dr. Emmanuel Contassot, from the Dermatology Department, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Zürich, Switzerland.
The vaccine would target bacteria already present in human skin rather than invading pathogens. A toxin secreted from the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria can induce inflammatory responses.
However more research will be needed before they are closer to commercialising the vaccine.
In the mean time, if you have a few spots appearing, this is what you need to do to treat your pimples.