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Good News, Acne Sufferers: You'll End Up Living Longer and Looking Better Than Non-Acne Sufferers

A new study has proved that we spotty people will have our day.

This sad little guy has his prime to come (Photo via Wiki)

Everyone has to look a little greasy and spotty during their adolescent years. It's a rite of passage. Some of us, of course, are unlucky enough to have adult acne in our twenties, walking around like grossly oversized pre-teens with boobs and a briefcase.

Why are we singled out? Who knows. But for those who blessed with a chronic pizza face, hormones, sugar and stress from our miserable lives are a few of the scientifically proven possibilities behind our facial situations.


One upside I'm consistently smug about, though, is the fact any dermatologist worth their tools will tell you that people with oily skin don't get wrinkles until later in life. Now, a new study has found out exactly why that is: the cells of people with acne have a built-in protection against ageing, which is likely to both make them look better in later life and also help them live longer lives.

A study of white blood cells taken from affected individuals showed they had longer protective caps on the ends of their chromosomes. These caps – called telomeres – are basically the chromosome equivalent of those plastic bits that stop shoelaces from getting frayed. The research shows that acne sufferers have significantly longer telomeres and therefore may be blessed with the gift of longer life.

Lead researcher Dr Simone Ribero, from King's College London, said: "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."

In the study, researchers highlighted a gene pathway called p53, which regulates "programmed cell death", a kind of cell suicide. When telomeres become too short, it can trigger a series of events that lead to programmed cell death. The p53 pathway was shown to be less active in the skin of acne sufferers, although this is still under investigation.

Mind you, I don't really want to know the results of this further investigation. Because for now, I'm safe in the knowledge that I'll be fit forever and there's nothing you can do about it.