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Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018 May 10;11:245-252. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S158129. eCollection 2018.

The impact of acne and facial post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on quality of life and self-esteem of newly admitted Nigerian undergraduates.

Author information

Dermatology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.
Dermatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi, Nigeria.
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Obafemi Awolowo University and OAUTHC, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Department of Internal Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.



Acne and facial post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are relatively common clinical conditions among adolescents and young adults, and inflict psychosocial injuries on sufferers.


To document the psychosocial and self-esteem implications of acne and facial hyperpigmentation on newly admitted undergraduates.

Materials and methods:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 200 undergraduates. Demographics and clinical characteristics were obtained and acne was graded using the US Food and Drug Administration 5-category global system of acne classification. Participants completed the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) and the Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES), and data were analyzed using SPSS 20.


Mean age of acne onset was 16.24 ± 3.32 years. There were 168 (84.0%) cases categorized as almost clear, 24 (12.0%) as mild acne, 4 (2.0%) as moderate acne and 4 (2.0%) as severe acne. Acne with facial hyperpigmentation, compared to acne without hyperpigmentation, was associated with significant level of anxiety in 30 participants (26.5% vs 10.3%, p=0.004) and emotional distress in 40 (35.4% vs 10.3%, p<0.001). Acne severity correlated with total CADI score but not with total RSES score. Quality of life (QoL) was significantly reduced among acne patients with facial hyperpigmentation (1.77±1.62, vs 1.07±1.02, p<0.001) compared to those without hyperpigmentation. Acne and facial hyperpigmentation was associated with social life interference, avoidance of public facilities, poor body image and self-esteem and perception of worse disease. There was no association between gender and QoL but acne was related to a reduction of self-worth. Low self-esteem was present in 1.5%, and severe acne was associated with an occasional feeling of uselessness in the male gender.


Acne with facial hyperpigmentation induces poorer QoL and self-esteem is impaired only in severe acne. Beyond the medical treatment of acne, dermatologists should routinely assess the QoL and give attention to treatment of facial post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation among people of color.


acne; facial hyperpigmentation; quality of life; self-esteem; undergraduates

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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