Emotional impact of acne on teens underestimated, can seriously affect lives
The emotional impact of acne on teens is being underestimated, leaving young people without support or help during a critical period in their lives, according to non-profit organization, the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada.
“Acne is typically dismissed as cosmetic issue but it is often felt far deeper because it affects appearance and happens during a time of change – physical, emotional and social,” says Vancouver dermatologist and society president, Dr. Jason Rivers.
“The emotional impact of acne – from lower self-esteem to anger, embarrassment, social anxiety and depression – can be far worse than the physical impact and can seriously affect lives.”
The society has designated September 19 – 25, 2016 as Acne Awareness Week in Canada as featured in Health Canada’s Calendar of Health Promotion Days.
To raise awareness about the emotional impact of acne, the society has created 3 cartoons featuring teens and some common, insensitive acne myths.
“Acne can affect the development of self-image and assertiveness in teens – factors that are important in forming friendships and dating. Having acne has also been associated with teasing, bullying and eating disorders,” he adds.
“Some teens are growing their hair to cover their face, avoiding eye contact, wearing heavy makeup to hide spots, avoiding sports like swimming if they have body acne and missing school.”
Main Take Away
“Recognizing the emotional impact of acne and offering support and help to sufferers can limit psycho-social harm,” Dr. Rivers says. “There are safe and effective over-the-counter or prescription acne treatments to help with this condition. Studies have shown outlook improves as acne improves. And who wouldn’t want a happier teen in their home?”
Large and high res versions of cartoons here
About the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada:
The society, a national, not for profit organization, offers hope and help to sufferers by providing independent, reputable and current information on acne and raising awareness. For more, visit www.AcneAction.ca.
About Acne Awareness Week, September 19 – 25, 2016: Acne Awareness Week, September 19 – 25, 2016 was designated by the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada / La Société canadienne de l’acné et de la rosacée (www.AcneAction.ca) to raise awareness about acne, a common skin condition affecting 5 million Canadians that can cause significant physical and emotional effects.
For more information or to organize an interview with one of our dermatologist spokespeople:
Sue Sherlock, Communications, Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada, 604-985-9184, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emotional impact of acne:
· Research shows acne can result in significant emotional distress ranging from bad moods and embarrassment to shame, anxiety and even depression. Acne usually appears on the face and affects appearance and self-image.
· Depression is 2 to 3 times more prevalent in acne patients than in the general public.
· In one study of teens with acne, the number who felt lonely (58%) or anxious (56%) was comparable to those with diabetes, cancer and epilepsy.
· Having acne as a teen has been associated with teasing, bullying and eating disorders.
· The longer acne goes on, the greater the psychological harm to personal and social life.
· The emotional impact of acne cannot be predicted by how severe the condition is and varies from person to person. Research shows some people with mild to moderate acne experience psychological symptoms as serious as those associated with severe acne such as anxiety and depression.
· Some acne sufferers say the psychological effects associated with this condition, such as hurt and shame, continue to be felt many years afterwards. Experts call this ‘emotional scarring’.
5 Steps to help with acne:
# 1 Treatment. For mild acne, self-treat with over-the-counter acne products. For moderate or severe acne, seek help from your family doctor or dermatologist. Treatment improves outlook.
# 2 Support. Enlist the support of family and close friends. Let them know how acne is affecting you and how they can help.
# 3 Camouflage. Find out how to hide acne by applying cover-up.
# 4 Skincare. Follow a good skincare routine for healthy skin and to get the best results from treatment.
# 5 Activities. social life. Be active. Be social. Make an effort to visit with friends and attend events.