It’s Here: A Vaccination for Acne

vaccination for acne
by Kali Kushner



One thing that’s always spooked me about having children is the possibility they will carry the acne gene and deal with painful cystic acne that shapes their mindset well into adulthood. My acne was severe, cystic, and left emotional and physical scarring. Though it did make me stronger, I wouldn’t wish that pain upon anyone- especially my future children.


Acne is quiet common though- a total of 50 million people are diagnosed with acne each year. That includes either one pimple a month or a face filled with severe nodular spots. What’s even more shocking? The number of adult females diagnosed with acne each year is steadily increasing and dermatologist claim that no one really knows why. I personally believe this is due to toxic chemicals found in our makeup, hormone disrupters, increasing factory pollution in our air, inflammatory substances found in our food, overly processed meat, and the increasing stresses along with technological advances in our daily lives.


That being said, with countless lotions, potions, creams, and pills, scientists still don’t have a cure for acne because it’s been impossible to detect the exact causation. And from what I’ve personally witnessed, everyone’s skin is different! Some people can be completely “cured” with a three step skincare routine while others must completely change their diet and entire lifestyle. And unfortunately for a vast majority (including yours truly) acne is persistent and never completely goes away regardless of the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on dermatologists appointments and acne treatment systems.



what would you do for clear skin?


Imagine if your persistent acne suffering was completely over? A world where you never had to worry about acne ever again. You didn’t have to continuously buy products wondering if they worked, check your skin every morning when you wake up, change your diet because of your skin, or even worry if a pimple would scar. Sounds too good to be doesn’t it? Well, get excited folks. The researchers at The University of California Sam Diego are currently working on a vaccine that could end acne for good.


It goes without saying, developing a vaccine has plenty of complications. Without knowing exactly how acne works it can’t be stopped. 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,” says Eric C. Huang, the project’s lead researcher. “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.” This means the vaccine may be able to block the acne causing effects of P-acnes without completely destroying the bacteria.


So far- it’s worked! The vaccine has only been tested on skin biopsies that the researchers collected from acne patients. “The next step is testing it on patients in clinical trials,” says Huang. The first phase of the trials will be underway soon, taking about 1 to 2 years.


Could you imagine growing up during a time where they’ve discovered a vaccine for acne? And if it actually works, how incredible! From the standpoint of an acne sufferer, it seems completely surreal to think about but with technological advances moving quicker than ever, I like to think that nothing’s impossible.



what would happen to skincare?



I don’t know about you but since I found out about a possible acne vaccine this question has been burning in the back of my mind: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO SKINCARE???! Skincare is the largest category in the cosmetics industry, account for nearly 1/3 of all profits annually. Actually by 2024, the global skincare market is estimated to be worth 180 billion US dollars. With a 7% increase in profits each year, I can’t help but wonder what would happen to the skincare industry- or if they’ll even allow such a vaccine to happen.


Large companies who have a wide reach and extreme lobbying power may be able to shut a vaccine down if it would have a drastic impact on sales or hurt their annual profit. Pretty crazy right? But I almost wonder if these large companies will ever allow a vaccine to happen, after all without acne there wouldn’t be any need for blemish fighting products. And without these products, there’s less sales, which means less annual profit for the company, translating into less jobs. I think this web is much, much bigger than what we see BUT I’m still going to remain optimistic there will one day be a vaccine. When it happens, I’ll be the first one in line.



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