Whether you're 13 or 21, and no matter how flawless your skin care routine is, let's face it. Getting a pimple right when you don't want it the most is sadly still inevitable. But it looks like we can finally bid waking up to a surprise zit in the morning goodbye because a group of scientists from the University of California, San Diego has worked on developing a vaccine for acne. OMG!
According to the study conducted by the researchers at UC San Diego, more than 85% of people have experienced acne and currently affects more than 50 million people in the US alone. Yikes! And while there are current medications to get rid of zits—from antibiotics to creams—these effects are usually short-term and fix the problem when it's already there. Just like us, these researchers are probably tired of waking up to a zit, so they've developed an acne vaccine to get rid of this common skin problem once and for all!
Eric C. Huang, the project's lead researcher said that "acne is caused, in part, by P. acnes bacteria that are with you your whole life. We couldn't create a vaccine for the bacteria because, in some ways, P. acnes are good for you. 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," Allure reports.
We know you're all excited about never having to go through zit problems again, but an acne vaccine sounds too good to be true. To make sure that using the needle to fix our skin problems is truly safe, we asked three dermatologists to weigh in their thoughts about this almost miraculous discovery.
Dr. Rhoda Espino, CEO of EliteAsia Aesthetics Center, is enthusiastic and hopeful for the acne vaccine."An acne vaccine? That will be awesome! While there is always a possibility of major side effects, I'm sure they will do clinical testing and several studies before they will provide it for public consumption. Until then, I think this is a really good prospect for our acne prone patients."
As for Dr. Coreen Copuyoc, a dermatologist who also used to be a certified Candy Girl, and Dr. Raissa Francisco-Pasion, a Consultant Dermatologist at SKIN Dermatology and Laser Center, while they're both excited about the vaccine, they're still a little bit hesitant about it. "An acne vaccine seems like a dream, and I laud Dr. Huang and his team in UCSD for all their efforts. I would like to think that such a thing could be invented and possibly eradicate acne completely all over the world. However, acne in itself is somewhat a mystery and the known causes are numerous. While I am hopeful that the vaccine will be successful, I still think that it will be more of an additional procedure to help alleviate acne instead of a miracle one-step solution," Dr. Coreen says. "Propionibacterium acnes (or P. acnes in short) is an anaerobic bacteria found to be present in acne lesions," Dr. Raissa explains to us. "It secretes a toxic protein on the skin that promotes and aggravates inflammation in acne. While this vaccine seeks to produce an antibody to the toxic protein of P. acnes, I am interested to see how further clinical studies on this vaccine turns out. As of present, they have yet to test it on actual acne patients. So far, only testing on skin samples with acne has been done," Dr. Raissa shares.
The Bottom Line
Both Dr. Coreen and Dr. Raissa also stress that acne is caused by other factors, too aside from the presence of P. acnes and "the said vaccine only aims to target one of acne's causes," Dr. Raissa says. That's why it's important to remember that whether there is a working vaccine or not, great skin will always take dedication and constant effort, Candy Girls!
Would you try the acne vaccine once it's available worldwide?