A vaccine to treat and prevent acne could be on its way, after a study revealed a way to block bacteria that damage skin.
For the first time, scientists have successfully targeted a type of bacteria, which lives in the skin, and stopped it from producing inflammatory toxins.
The treatment uses the body's own immune system to tackle the bacteria, and could help millions of people who suffer from the skin condition.
Experts believe that finding a way to treat the condition from within the body could remove the need for harsh medicines, which could either not work or have harsh side effects.
A study by the University of California in San Diego carried out laboratory tests on skin taken from human biopsies.
The scientists confirmed that sending proteins from the immune system - called antibodies - to an acne-causing bacteria could reduce swelling on the skin.
The bacteria, known as Propionibacterium acnes, live harmlessly on the skin of most people but in those with acne it can cause red bumps to flare up.
To cause the red bumps, the bacteria releases a toxin, which researchers believe can be stopped by the new vaccine.
Lead investigator, Chun-Ming Huang, said: "The potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne.
"Current treatment options are often not effective or tolerable for many of the 85 per cent of adolescents and more than 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from this condition.
"New, safe and efficient therapies are sorely needed."
Obviously, this is brilliant news for everyone who suffers from the condition and hasn't found a way to manage it just yet.
The Californian researchers are confident that their new vaccine will work, and they plan to do further studies to develop a chemical or vaccine which is safe and effective in humans so they can carry out large clinical trials.
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