U.C. San Diego professor develops vaccine for acne

A vaccine.
(Image credit: iStock)

Put away the masks, creams, cleansers, and serums — a University of California, San Diego, professor says he has developed an acne vaccine that can take care of the disease.

"This is the first vaccine for human beauty," Prof. Eric Huang of the Department of Dermatology told NBC 7. "I think this vaccine has a huge market in the whole world." Huang said acne is caused by an overgrowth of the p. acnes bacteria inside a lesion, and when the bacteria releases a toxin called Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor, it causes inflammation. The human body can't neutralize this factor on its own, but the vaccine can. "It does not kill the bacteria," he said. "The vaccine neutralizes the bacteria, which everybody has."

After five years of work, there are two types of vaccines — therapeutic and preventative — which will be given to children in elementary school. The vaccine has been tested on mice and worked well, Huang said, and now, he needs to team up with a pharmaceutical company for large-scale clinical trials; if that happens soon, after FDA approval, the vaccine could be available within three to five years.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.