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Skin Therapy Lett. 2004 Aug-Sep;9(7):1-3, 9.

Psychosocial impact of acne vulgaris: evaluating the evidence.

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Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, Acne Research and Treatment Center, Windsor, ON, Canada.


This paper reviews current evidence presented by recent studies on the impact of acne on psychosocial health. Study methodologies, including case-control and cross-sectional surveys, have demonstrated psychological abnormalities including depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, psychosomatic symptoms, including pain and discomfort, embarrassment and social inhibition. Effective treatment of acne was accompanied by improvement in self-esteem, affect, obsessive-compulsiveness, shame, embarrassment, body image, social assertiveness and self-confidence. Acne is associated with a greater psychological burden than a variety of other disparate chronic disorders. Future studies with a longitudinal cohort design may provide further validation of the causal inference between acne and psychosocial disability provided by the current literature.

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