(WSVN) - It can be an embarrassing, unsightly problem for both teens and adults. Consumers spend millions per year on creams and treatments for acne, but now one professor says he has developed a vaccine to cure the disease.
Dr. Eric Huang at the University of California San Diego’s Department of Dermatology says he has been working on a vaccine for five years. Now it’s ready for large-scale clinical trials.
“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,” Huang told Allure Magazine. “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.”
The idea, Huang says, is to block the bacteria’s acne-causing effects without killing the bacteria itself.
“Acne vulgaris afflicts more than forty million people in the United State alone, and despite the multitude of the products on the market, there is still no effective treatment that can prevent and cure this disease,” Huang’s school website states. “The goal of our project is to educate the immune system of acne patients in order to allow their body to naturally control the growth of P. acnes. The approach has the potential to result in a long term cure of the disease.”
According to Fox News, Huang has two types of vaccines in the works: a preventative one that would be given to children prior to reaching adolescence, and a therapeutic one for those already suffering from acne.
With clinical trials on the horizon, the vaccine could be available in three to five years, Huang said.
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