Sure, the appearance of bumps, lumps, and pimples may be unsightly. But, according to a new study, there’s a silver lining for those who suffer from acne.
The bright side? Your skin may age more slowly than those who don’t suffer from mottled skin through adolescence and beyond. At least, that’s the suggestion of a new British study that examined over 1,200 twins — one-quarter of which struggled with acne at some point in their life.
“For many years, dermatologists have identified that the skin of acne sufferers appears to age more slowly than in those who have not experienced any acne in their lifetime.
Whilst this has been observed in clinical settings, the cause of this was previously unclear,” says lead researcher Dr. Simone Ribero, a dermatologist in the department of twin research and genetic epidemiology at King’s College London.
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“Our findings suggest that the cause could be linked to the length of telomeres, which appears to be different in acne sufferers and means their cells may be protected against aging,” Ribero said in a college news release.
What are telomeres and why are they important? Telomere (tel-uh-meer) from the Greek telos (end) and meros (part) play an essential role in how our cells age. Much like how coating at the end of a shoelace prevents fraying, telomeres act as caps at the end of each DNA strand, protecting our chromosomes.
In fact, many previous studies have discovered a strong connection between short telomeres and cellular aging. “For example, the immune system, which normally weakens as we age, is highly sensitive to the shortening of telomeres. In addition, a 2007 study revealed that short telomeres were related with decreases in bone mineral density in women.”
Senior author of the paper, dermatologist Dr. Veronique Bataille, also said: “Longer telomeres are likely to be one factor explaining the protection against premature skin aging in individuals who previously suffered from acne.”
According to the findings, twins with a history of acne vulgaris – the most common skin condition in the United States, causing