The psychological effects of acne are often overlooked even if they can be devastating. We wanted to know how many of us suffer with feelings of depression because of our acne, and what the solution is. We spoke to the British Skin Foundation (BSF), a charity which funds skin disease research, to find out what you need to know about the impact acne can have on those of us who suffer from acne and how it can be treated.
Acne and self-confidence
A recent online survey conducted by the BSF discovered that when members of the public were asked to rank what they felt were the top three areas affected by their skin condition, 70 % said a fall in self-confidence was their biggest issue, 42% said it impacted on their work and more than half (56%) said making friends was one of their biggest problems when it came to skin disease. It’s clear from the BSF’s findings that acne can make sufferers feel socially anxious, self-conscious, and it can also lead to depression and worse.
1 in 6 adolescents have self-harmed because of acne
According to a study published by the BSF (2012), the psychological impact of acne can be extremely serious, and is often overlooked, making sufferers feel alone and isolated. ‘Patients with acne and many other skin diseases often feel enormously upset about their skin condition, as it affects their confidence and self-esteem in so many different ways,’ says Dr Bav Shergill, a spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation in a press release ‘All too often the impact of skin disease is underestimated, and this survey will hopefully help draw attention to this fact.’
Alarmingly the survey also revealed that a further one in six (16%) people admitted to having self-harmed as a result of their skin disease. Some of those 125 people who took part also said they had even attempted suicide, with others stating they had contemplated suicide at some stage. However, there is hope and finding the right treatment for you is the first step towards clear skin and a more positive mind
Acne can be treated
Despite how severe the psychological impacts can be, remember that it’s possible to treat the physical blemishes before long-term psychological conditions have the chance to set in. ‘There are a range of different types of treatments recommended, most commonly these are topical treatments, oral antibiotics, oral contraceptive pills, and Isotretinoin capsules depending on the severity of the acne,’ says Matthew Gass, Communications Officer for the British Association of Dermatologists, leading charity advising on the best dermatology practices.