Teens feel self-conscious and miserable about acne and often develop a negative body image which is rather distant from their real one.
These are the findings of an online survey carried out on more than 1000 youths and 1000 adults in the US and commissioned by Galderma, a world leader in dermatology, andKelton Research and being headed by Eva Ritvo, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Medicine faculty of the University of Miami.
In order to get rid of acne, 59% of teenagers would give up Facebook for a year, 30% would be willing not to go on a date for a year, 13% would accept to go to their school leaver’s ball accompanied by mum or dad and11% would be willing to have their school grades lowered.
The results of the research also show that compared with teenagers with no acne, those affected by it are more likely to be perceived as shy (39% vs 27%), nerdy (31% vs 17%) a loner (23% vs 13%) and are less likely to be seen as a leader than their counterparts (29% vs 49%). On the contrary, teenagers with no acne are perceived as beenmore self-confident (42% vs 25%), happy (50% vs 35%) fun (40% vs 28%) and clever (44% vs 38%) compared to their peers with pimples.
Such image applies also to the adults who seem to have also a distorted perception of the personality of teenagers with acne after seeing pictures. Adults believe that more than half of teenagers with acne (56%) are likely to fall victim of bullying compared to only 29% of teenagers with a clear skin.
Despite the figures, acne is not considered a health concern and only 14% sees a doctor about it. «Acne is a skin disease and, if cured correctly, it heals with no consequences, except, perhaps, in very rare occasions», says Vincenzo Bettoli, a dermatologist who, in 1997, founded the Department for the Study and Cure of Acne and related Dermatoses within the Sant’Anna Hospital in Ferrara.
People with acne are increasingly self-conscious and miserable about it. The attitude to acne seems to know only extremes: acne is either underestimated or taken care of obsessively due to the obtrusiveness of the parents who often don’t even let their teenage sons or daughters express themselves in front of the doctor which, in turn, has a negative effect on their personality and mood”.
On a more positive note, now in Italy even those who don’t go to the doctor can still tackle acne in the right way: with no need of prescription, chemists now sell benzoyl peroxide, an active principle that minimizes pimples and pores and prevents scarring thanks to its antimicrobial power acting on the bacteria responsible for the onset of acne.