For Teens, Acne Impacts Self Esteem

(Image credit: Sanja Gjenero | Stock Xchng)

Acne can take a toll on teens' self-esteem and quality of life, and can even lead to depression and psychological issues, according to a new review of studies.

Because of this potential, dermatologists should keep the mental health of their patients in mind when they come in for acne problems, said study researcher Dr. Steven Feldman, a dermatology professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"Acne is such a big problem for people and how they think other people perceive them and how they perceive themselves, that it causes more depression," Feldman told MyHealthNewsDaily. "So getting it under control is important."

Feldman and his colleagues reviewed 16 studies conducted between 2001 and 2010 that examined the associations between acne and quality of life, self- esteem, personality, mood and psychological disorders.

They found that in general, acne negatively impacted self-esteem and quality of life and increased the risk for psychological disorders.

For example, in a study published last year in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology that was also conducted by Feldman, researchers found that depression is two to three times more prevalent in people with acne than people with clear skin. Women with acne were two times more likely to have depression than men with acne, the study also showed.

Acne affects more than 85 percent of teenagers (though not always severely), according to the study. But not all teens with acne suffer from emotional problems , Feldman said.

"It's an individual-by-individual thing," he said. "Some people have acne and it truly doesn't bother them" because they're not as concerned about how they're perceived by other people.

The study, published in January in the Dermatology Online Journal, was not widely reported at the time. The researchers recently issued a press release on their work.

Pass it on: Teens with acne may suffer from low self-esteem or have a lower quality of life than their fresh-faced peers.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Amanda Chan on Twitter @AmandaLChan.

Amanda Chan
Amanda Chan was a staff writer for Live Science Health. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.