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There Could Soon Be a Vaccine to Prevent Acne

Today in excellent news, doctors are reportedly working on an acne vaccine that will stop the skin condition its tracks. Yes, you read that right: A vaccine for acne. That means acne could literally be cured. Considering that an estimated 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne, according to the National Institutes of Health, new developments in how to prevent and treat it are in high demand. Plus, it doesn't just affect young people—adults over 30 can totally get it too. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology notes that up to 50 million Americans are diagnosed with acne every year. Crazy, right? (FYI, here's more about what causes adult acne.)

But there may be some good news for acne sufferers. Scientists at the University of San Diego in California are working on what could be a way to prevent acne before it ever starts, Allure reports. So how does it work? While the exact reasons someone gets acne aren't totally known, "acne is caused, in part, by P. acnes bacteria that are with you your whole life," Eric C. Huang, Ph.D., the project's lead researcher, told Allure. "And 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." So in other words, the vaccine wouldn't eradicate the bacteria completely from your skin, since it does have some benefits, but it would wipe out the irritation it can cause, and thus, acne. (If you've ever questioned whether those at-homeblue light devices really clear pimples, we've got you covered.)

If you're wondering how you can get on this like yesterday, sorry, but the vaccine isn't available at your derm just yet. Sadly, you're still looking at several years before that happens, as it will need to be tested in a clinical trial, so fingers crossed it holds up under closer examination. It's unclear whether adults would be eligible for the vaccine or if there would be an age limit on effectiveness, but we're definitely rooting for something that would help prevent pimples (and the insecurities that come with them) at all ages. In the meantime, try out one of these alternative adult acne treatments.

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