This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you even think about it articles. An acne cure? For real? How about an acne vaccine? The subject of vaccines inspires passion, polarization and precious little middle ground. The very mention of the topic does more to stir up people than most. Passions fly. Arguments ensue. Civility takes a flying leap.
Well, I’m going to do my best to keep the beehive sedate. I’m not here to find middle ground or stir the anthill to action. I’m here to drop a few facts, offer up some hilarious reflections and maybe get you to see some videos or something. If at the end, you are lesser informed than before you entered, consider yourself forewarned. Kidding.
Vaccines: cure for acne?
When some people hear the word, it inspires memories of this:
Yet, some people are hesitant to get on their knees, gesticulate widely and bow before the saintly goodness that is the medical gods. Their reserved judgment may be tempered by thoughts of this:
Which faction is right? It’s hard to maintain an objective stance when facts can dance to the beat of their own drummer. 
Let’s start by talking about is known about this possible acne cure by vaccine.
Acne vaccine Facts:
- No new acne vulgaris treatments since the 60s and 70s.
- Acne vaccination trials are currently under development and in requirement of further testing.
- It works not by making you immune from the strains of acne causing bacteria but by limiting your bodies inflammatory response mechanism to the bacteria’s released toxin.
- Some of the unknown consequences or side effects of shutting down this inflammatory response may not manifest in short order and instead my take time that occurs after and outside the study parameters.
- If it works and has minimal side effects, it would be an astounding improvement in the quality of millions of peoples lives.
- Price for acne vaccine is unknown.
- This is potentially an acne cure and prevention method.
Past acne cure: Retin-A
In the last few decades, medical science has only given us a few game changing advances in regards to zits. The first that comes to mind is Tretinoin,  commonly known as Retin-A, which is known to work wonders on the lesser realm of the acne affliction like whiteheads, blackheads and other small pimple bumps lacking inflammation.
How does Retin-A work?
The method of activation Retin – A employs is to increase cellular turnover in the epidermis of the skin, which is incidentally why it also works well for some other skin conditions, namely the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This accentuated cellular turnover is bad for the types of acne complex that results in boils and cysts due to increasing inflammatory effects. This prevents Retin A from being a resounding success for those in the hormonal crowd. Bummer.
Past acne cure: Accutane
Another nugget of medical gold to come from the mine of knowledge is Isotretinoin,  which was commonly known as Accutane until 2009 (it now goes under many generic names thanks to an Accutane lawsuit). A medication so beset with goodness it comes with a series of waivers and legal paperwork thick enough to crush a phone book.
Does Accutane cure acne?
What is Accutane? What are some of the Accutane side effects? Great questions, probably requiring an individual post to address. Want to know about these questions and likely Accutane results? A shortcut would be to check out the Accutane wiki.
Basically, Accutane works by helping to reduce oil buildup under the skin. It’s great for the deeper seated hormonal acne that inflames with nodules and red bumps. It’s efficacy for the the ever dreaded creeping carbuncle and the like caused by strains of Strep and Staph is limited. Regardless, in either case, trained medical professionals should be seen to make a diagnosis and prescribe medication for treatment.
Finally, an acne Utopia?
If these two marvels of this miraculous age work as stated, why is further research ongoing? Why haven’t we all rushed to clear ourselves in short order, starting decades ago when these were first released? The reason is simple: side-effects. And friends, let me tell you, there are some king hill whoppers of side effects. Immune imbalance, hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol levels), and teratogenicity (Accutane birth defects) are only the starting point. The Retin A side effects are better but still exist.
This makes the response disproportionate to the problem. It’s much akin to using an a-bomb on your neighbor’s house because you don’t like the mean mugging garden gnome in their front yard. Ok, metaphors aren’t my forte but you can easily get the gist of the point.
I’ve included links to the lists of side effects as well as some background info about the two medications discussed. ,  As always, a good competent medical doctor or pharmacist is your best go to for questions and answers.
The only reason I dredge up the issues with these medications is that even silver lined clouds of miracles can evaporate when the sun comes out. Medicine and science hardly work off the miracle angle. Ask most scientists and you’ll see that even the best experiments and studies can prove fallible or provide conflicting data points for loose interpretation. 
Consequently, scientists are fallible because they are people. They are prone to bias, blind to prejudices and subject to ego stroking like everybody else. The good ones can manage to keep these issues and more in check. The great ones can seemly transcend the human condition and excel to levels thought unobtainable. They don’t merely master their material, they master themselves. That’s a tall order for anyone. 
Acne Vaccine = cure?
While news of an acne vaccine may have only recently reached the collective consciousness of the mass media, it’s been a subject of ongoing struggle and continued work. In fact, quite a bit of research has been conducted over the years and only recently has progress been made to reach the stage where patient trials are underway. Therefore, this is a huge hurdle to clear. Past breakthroughs in this field ,  have returned less than desirable results with more than acceptable consequences.
Also, one of the chief issues of contention has been with the mixed results of animal studies, the well from which the many in the medical and biological scientific community drink. The reason stems from matters of different physiology. Specifically the fact that “[m]ost animals including mice do not produce sufficient triglycerides in sebaceous glands to harbor P. acnes a fact that has encumbered the development of anti-acne vaccines and drugs targeting P. acnes infection.” 
Furthermore, if that wasn’t enough, having an acne vaccine that killed P. acnes bacteria would be problematic because the bacteria perform beneficial functions.  Killing the bacteria outright could cause a host of issues and unintended consequences. This is why the current acne vaccine is focusing on a protein secreted by the bacteria which initiates an inflammatory response from the antibodies of the immune system.
Conclusion- the best acne cure info
Finally, I started this entry off with a bit of fun, but I want close on a serious tone.
We all want an acne cure—especially one that’s as simple and easy as a vaccine. It fits in with our push button, instantaneous, everything now society. While such a goal as a cure for acne is noble, it also requires a high threshold of results tempered with balance. It’s not enough to have a cure if it causes multiple problematic after effects.
What are the effects? The patient trials will be a determining factor. Too many times in the past, positive early tests have yielded to the sideswipe of reality. This is why I want to urge caution to tap the brakes on the accelerated expectations and wait for the results.
In addition, one further point to ponder. This acne vaccine is specific to P. acnes and would potentially be limited to its use. Especially relevant, strains of staph and strep would need further research and testing. This is why the headlines of an acne cure sound great, but time fades the headlines.
Eventually, affirmative or negative, we’ll know, and it’ll be the scientists like Dr. Eric (Chun-Ming) Huang, PhD  who will tend the light. Kudos and acclaim to all those that light the way!
 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility. Survey sheds light on the ‘crisis’ rocking research. Baker, Monya. Nature 533, 452-454, (26 May, 2016). http://www.nature.com/news/1-500-scientists-lift-the-lid-on-reproducibility-1.19970
 Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful. Ioannidis JPA (2016). PLoS Med 13(6): e1002049. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002049
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 Acne vaccines targeting Propionibacterium acnes. Kao M., Huang C. M. Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2009 December;144(6):639-43 http://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/dermatologia-venereologia/article.php?cod=R23Y2009N06A0639
 Vaccination Targeting a Surface Sialidase of P. acnes: Implication for New Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. Nakatsuji T, Liu Y-T, Huang C-P, Gallo RL, Huang C-M (2008). PLoS ONE 3(2): e1551. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001551
 Correlation of Propionibacterium acnes populations with the presence of triglycerides on nonhuman skin. Webster GF, Ruggieri MR, McGinley KJ (1981). Appl Environ Microbiology 41: 1269–1270.GF http://aem.asm.org/content/41/5/1269.long
#acne cure, #cure acne, #acne vaccine, #side effects of accutane, #retin a side efects