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Acne Negatively Impacts Emotional Health of Adult Women

Adult women with acne describe disruption to their personal and professional lives

By Physician’s Briefing Staff | July 28, 2021

Women with acne have strong concerns about appearance and experience mental and emotional health consequences, according to a study published online July 28 in JAMA Dermatology.

John S. Barbieri, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted semistructured interviews of patients seen at a large academic health care system (University of Pennsylvania Health System) and a private practice (Dermatologists of Southwest Ohio). Interviews were conducted with 50 adult women (aged 18 to 40 years) with moderate-to-severe acne.

According to the researchers, participants said acne-related concerns about their appearance affected their social, professional, and personal lives, with many altering their behavior because of their acne. Participants commonly reported depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Successful treatment was described by participants as including completely clear skin over time or a manageable number of blemishes. Frustration was expressed by interviewees regarding finding a dermatologist with whom they were comfortable and identifying effective treatments for their acne.

"These findings suggest that ensuring access to care and identifying optimal treatment approaches for women with acne are needed to improve outcomes in this population," the authors write.

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