Acne is Actually Good for Your Health and Here's Why

It turns out there’s a great advantage to having acne during the adolescent years. This may be difficult for you and your teen to believe while she is staring in the mirror and agonizing over the latest eruption on her forehead, but hear me out.

For years, dermatologists have noted that people who had acne as teens appear to age more slowly than individuals who never had acne, yet the reason for this phenomenon was unknown. Some experts have speculated that the reason may lie with the fact that people with acne typically produce much more oil than those without the skin problem. Yet not everyone has been fully satisfied with that explanation.

Read about 7 more effective natural remedies for teen acne

Now the good folks at King’s College London have discovered why acne sufferers may enjoy this temporary fountain of youth effect: telomeres. New research has indicated that adolescents with zits have longer telomeres in their white blood cells compared with individuals who had clear skin during their teen years. Telomeres have been likened to the little protective caps on the ends of shoelaces; that is, they help prevent chromosomes from unraveling or deteriorating and thus ward off aging. The end result is cells that are protected against fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging skin.

Read about 9 surprising reasons we have body acne

Scientists made this discovery by measuring the length of telomeres in 1,205 twins who participated in the TwinsUK cohort study of age-related diseases. Twenty-five percent of the twins said they had experienced acne during their lives.  

We realize that telling your teen about this apparent benefit of living with acne during this crucial period of their lives may not make them feel a whole lot better right now. Perhaps it will help if you accompany this information with some effective tips on natural ways to tackle zits. And a lot of hugs.

Ribero S et al. Acne and telomere length. A new spectrum between senescence and apoptosis pathways. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2016 Sep 27

Image via Clare Black

By Deborah Mitchell| October 20, 2016
Categories:  Nest

About the Author

Deborah Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell

Deborah is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored, and written more than 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. Currently she lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit her at

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