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J Dermatol. 2010 Jul;37(7):617-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2010.00855.x.

Community-based epidemiological study of psychosocial effects of acne in Japanese adolescents.

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Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Kagawa, Japan.


In this community-based cross-sectional study, 1443 Japanese adolescents aged 13-19 years participated from two schools in Kagawa Prefecture. Students completed a self-administered questionnaire to assess the prevalence of acne, knowledge about acne, self-management of acne and emotional well-being. A five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory (MHI) subscale of the Short Form 36 was used to assess psychological health and depression status. Among respondents, 859 (59.5%) said they had acne (51.6% of the boys and 64.8% of the girls). A majority (56.8%) of those who said they had acne also reported a family history of acne. Of the 555 female respondents with acne, 39.1% reported experiencing acne flares in temporal proximity to menstruation. Less than half (38.8%) of respondents with acne had sought or were seeking treatment. The three most common factors believed to trigger or exacerbate acne were stress, lack of sleep and sweat. The mean MHI score of 847 students with acne was significantly lower than 475 students without acne. The mean MHI score of female students with acne was significantly lower than male students with acne. Students with acne were also significantly more depressed than those without acne and female students were significantly more depressed than male students. Acne is a common problem for Japanese teenagers and causes personal and social difficulties. Our results suggest the necessity of educational programs in school or public to ensure that adolescents are aware of acne and to encourage young people to improve their mental health through better acne treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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