People Who Suffer From Acne May Be At Risk For Depression, Says Study

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A new study has found that people who suffer from severe acne may be at high risk for depression. In addition, researchers also found that acne may contribute to depression, suicidal thoughts, and low-self esteem.  ( Tang Chhin Sothy | Getty Images )

Suffering from acne? People prone to severe acne may be at higher risk of depression, according to a new study. Researchers have found that people with acne have an increased risk of being diagnosed with depression within the first year.

Acne May Cause Depression

Previous studies have suggested that isotretinoin, the medication used to treat severe acne, has been linked to mental health disorders. However, Canadian researchers wanted to see if acne might be contributing to mental disorders.

"Our recently published systematic review did not find an increased risk of psychiatric disorders among people treated with isotretinoin, but we wondered if acne itself may be contributing to mental illness," said Isabelle Vallerand, the lead study at the Community Health Sciences department of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.

The study examined more than 500 people suffering from acne. Researchers found that people with mild acne can feel low self-esteem, social withdrawal, reduced self-confidence, depression and frustration, and suicidal thoughts, according to the British Journal of Dermatology.

For the study, the team of researchers also analyzed 134,427 adults with acne and 1,731,608 adults without acne and followed them for 15 years. In the beginning of the study, most people range from 19 to 50-year-olds, according to The New York Times.  

"It appears that acne is a lot more than just skin deep," Vallerand said. "It can have a substantial impact on overall mental health."

Signs Of Acne

Acne is caused when hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells, according to Mayo Clinic. Acne can cause everything from blackheads to pimples, and whiteheads. Symptoms of acne can appear in most parts of the body, including the face, chest, forehead, and back.

Triggers That Make Acne Worse

Triggers that can make acne worse, include hormones, certain medications, diet, and stress. Research suggests that hormonal changes during pregnancy can worsen acne.

In fact, more than one out of every two pregnant women can develop severe acne, during the first trimester, according to WebMD. Women at higher risk are those who have a history of acne ahead of menstruation cycle.

Other studies show that carbohydrates, such as bread, chips, and chocolate can make acne worse. Acne can also get worse by washing with soaps that may irritate the skin, in addition to not removing makeup on a daily basis.

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