by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
For many acne is the bane of growing up and for some acne continues through adulthood. Acne can elicit both teasing and sympathy from others, and like many things, perhaps it is only the sufferer of acne who realizes its true effect on the body and beyond. New research is looking at how acne affects people in a psychological sense.
“Kelly, 22, has suffered from depression since age 8. But it’s only recently that she realized how much worse she feels when her acne flares up. During the two years in college when her depression waned, so did her skin problems.
“When I was free of the depression, I was feeling completely confident and able to make use of all of the opportunities, and much more able to present myself and meet people,” said Kelly, who asked that her last name not be used. “And, of course, also with the acne clearing up, I didn’t worry about people seeing me and judging me based on acne.”
Doctors note that good treatment can diminish acne’s effect:
“Your skin is what you present to the world, and unfortunately we all aim for that airbrushed perfection that’s on the covers of the magazines,” says Dr. Diane Walder, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Miami.
Finding a caring dermatologist to guide you through acne is key to both getting clearer skin and feeling better about yourself, said Dr. Jessica Krant, a dermatologist based in New York. A proper treatment plan from a dermatologist can clear up a person’s skin, which in turn may resolve depression symptoms, said Dr. Sherrif Ibrahim.
A recent article in a British medical journal discusses findings on the relationship between acne and depression and discusses some of the medications that are used to treat acne. The entire article may be read here.