Your zits deserve an apology for all those times you cursed their existence. According to new research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, people who suffer from acne are actually genetically #blessed. Apparently, those annoying, persistent blemishes indicate that you probably have long telomeres in your white blood cells.
What, you ask, is a telomere? Telomeres are a protective component of DNA strands. The length of a cell’s telomeres can determine its lifespan. As we grow older, our telomeres deteriorate, shorten and become less effective at safeguarding our cells against aging. Thus, the longer your telomeres, the slower your overall aging process. (Research also suggests that long telomeres may help protect against cancer, so that’s something.)
In the study, scientists at King’s College examined the length of white blood cell telomeres in 1,205 twins, a quarter of whom had struggled with acne. They discovered that those who’d been plagued by zits in the past were more likely to house genes with longer telomeres. So, while high school may not have been so kind to them, 20 or 30 years down the road, they’ll get their comeuppance in the form of fewer wrinkles and younger-looking skin. (more…)