As June is #AcneAwarenessMonth , today we’re talking about the other side of having acne - dealing with acne and the impact it can have on your mental health.
Acne is a skin condition which is very common and affects more than 80% of the population at some stage in their life. Aside from skin lesions, it can also cause a devastating mental and emotional toll on those who suffer from it, particularly teenagers and young adults.
That means aside from the physical effects of acne, it can also have a psychological and social impacts such as:
Depression: The British Journal of Dermatology found an increased risk of depression among acne patients. Symptoms of depression include loss of appetite, lethargy, mood disturbances, feeling worthless, and crying spontaneously. Depression might manifest as social withdrawal, especially among teenagers who stay in their bedroom or avoid peers entirely.
Low Self Esteem: Embarrassment often causes a person to avoid eye contact. You might notice someone with acne growing their hair long to cover it up. Women may resort to wearing lots of makeup, which can help worsen the condition.
Social Withdrawal: The behavior of an acne sufferer’s peers can cause them to withdraw. In some cases, individuals have difficulties forming new relationships, which is particularly hard because teenagers are learning to form relationships in the first place. Shy, reclusive behavior and fear of rejection can lead to social phobia.
Acne causes stress in many people, and stress, in turn, can worsen a breakout or trigger one. The answer isn’t to avoid social interactions, a date, or an interview for a new job. There are lots of ways to control acne, including over-the-counter creams and lotions or prescription medications a GP/Dermatologist can provide.
If your acne is interfering significantly with your life, particularly if it is resulting in any of the problems described above, seek help promptly from a GP.