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People with Acne More Prone to Depression, Study Reveals

09 February 2018

If you've ever felt like your acne significantly impacts your mood, this one's for you: According to a new study in the British Journal of Dermatology, there's a scientific link between acne and depression. Almost one in five (18.5 percent) of those with acne developed depression compared to just 12 percent in those without.

People with psoriasis are up to two times more likely to be depressed compared with those who do not have it. Though most of those involved in the study were between the ages of 7 and 50 at the onset, most were below the age of 19.

What's more, females made up the majority, particularly nonsmokers and of a higher socioeconomic status.

Given the results, physicians may need to screen patients with acne for possible symptoms of a mood disorder. Those women were also less prone to use alcohol or be overweight. The risk was highest in the first year, when there was a 63 percent increased risk of depression in a person with acne compared to someone without.

Lead author Dr. Isabelle Vallerand of the University of Calgary said, "This study highlights an important link between skin disease and the mental illness".

Again, these numbers won't be shocking to anyone who has struggled with their skin, but it's also interesting to consider the idea that the connection has more to do with inflammation than the low self-esteem or social isolation that can sometimes accompany acne. "For these patients with acne, it is more than a skin blemish-it can impose significant mental health concerns and should be taken seriously".

A whopping 60 million Americans in the United States suffer from acne, 20 percent of whom are adults while 85 percent are teens and college-aged young adults between ages 12 and 24. The findings indicated that the risk of depression was highest after a year of developing acne.

People with Acne More Prone to Depression, Study Reveals