Acne linked with increased risk of depression

Researchers found that patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, in the first five years after being diagnosed with acne. The largest electronic medical records databases in the world,

The British Journal of Dermatology analysis included data from The Health Improvement Network (THIN) (1986-2012), a large primary care database in the United Kingdom.

The investigators found that the risk for major depression was highest within 1 year of acne diagnosis — a 63% higher risk compared with individuals without acne and decreased thereafter.

Can acne cause depression?

The studies suggest that it is extremely important that physicians monitor mood symptoms in patients with acne and initiate prompt treatment for depression or seek consultation from a psychiatrist when needed. As there is an undeniable link between skin disease and mental illness. Various studies on patients have shown that the risk of depression was highest in the period right after the first time a patient presented to a physician for acne concerns.

Lead author Dr. Isabelle Vallerand, of the University of Calgary, in Canada. “For these patients with acne, it is more than a skin blemish — it can impose significant mental health concerns and should be taken seriously.”it shows just how impactful our skin can be towards our overall mental health”. and poor mental health can in turn affect the skin adversely

Acne treatment including the highly effective acne medication isotretinoin should be made more readily available despite reports of its association with depression and teen suicide. That’s the implication of a study just published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Why does acne cause anxiety?

A research led by Misaki Natsuaki at the University of California – Riverside has shown that severe acne when left untreated poses a serious risk for depression and anxiety. The research led by Natsuaki conducted a study involving more than one million people which has shown a significant association with acne and mental health. The researchers lay down that even though there is no physical pain or impairment caused by acne, there is severe risk of mental health issues as the appearance matters.

Natsuaki’s meta-analysis found both depression and anxiety heightened in acne sufferers at an effect size similar to the ill effect of cyberbullying on victim’s depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Contrary to expectations, the researchers found that acne is associated with greater anxiety and depression among adults than adolescents.

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Materials provided by WileyNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. I.A. Vallerand, R.T. Lewinson, L.M. Parsons, M.W. Lowerison, A.D. Frolkis, G.G. Kaplan, C. Barnabe, A.G.M. Bulloch, S.B. Patten. Risk of depression among patients with acne in the U.K.: a population-based cohort studyBritish Journal of Dermatology, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/bjd.16099

Wiley. “Acne linked with increased risk of depression.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2018. <>.

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