Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Acne sufferers 'stay youthful-looking for longer'

A man has his acne removed from his face with a laser. Credit: Reuters

Teenagers who suffer from acne may have the last laugh, as scientists have found they could be better protected against ageing.

Scientists at King's College London found their skin cells have a built-in protection, meaning they are more likely to be blessed with long-lasting youthfulness.

Experts have already noted that signs of ageing - such as wrinkles and thinning skin - often appear much later in people who have experienced acne.

However they now believe they know why.

By studying white blood cells taken from individuals affected by spots, scientists noticed they had longer protective caps (or telomeres) on the end of their chromosomes.

Telomeres shrink over time and are closely linked to ageing - meaning people with long telomeres age more slowly than people with short ones.

Research has shown acne sufferers tend to have longer telomeres.

The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, focused on 1,205 female twins - a quarter of whom reported having had acne.

Longer telomeres are likely to be one factor explaining the protection against premature skin ageing in individuals who previously suffered from acne.

Another important pathway, related to the p53 gene, is also relevant when we looked at gene expression in the skin of acne twins compared to twin controls.

– Dr Veronique Bataille, King's College London