How Acne Affect Not Only Your Skin?

Acne can affect more than just your skin—it can impact your entire life in very real ways. Your family and friends may not fully understand just how acne influences your self-esteem. Even mild breakouts can make you feel less than confident.

Acne can affect people of all age but it predominantly occurs during the teenage years. Approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 25 develop acne.

For many people who have acne, the skin disease affects more than their appearance. Acne can take a toll on one’s emotional health. Researchers have found in study after study that people with acne can also develop:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor self-image
  • Decreased quality of life
  • A feeling of being all alone

If you’re wondering how acne could cause these problems, you only have to read this blog.

The psychological and social impacts of acne are a huge concern, especially because acne affects adolescents at a crucial period when they are developing their personalities. During this time, peer acceptance is very important to the teenager and unfortunately it has been found that there are strong links between physical appearance and attractiveness and peer status.

The following are some of the problems that patients with acne may face.

Self-esteem and body image

  • Some embarrassed acne patients avoid eye contact.
  • Some acne sufferers grow their hair long to cover the face. Girls tend to wear heavy make-up to disguise the pimples, even though they know that this sometimes aggravates their acne. Boys often comment: “Acne is not such a problem for girls because they can wear make-up”.

Social withdrawal/ relationship building

  • Acne, especially when it affects the face, provokes cruel taunts from other teenagers.
  • Some find it hard to form new relationships, especially with the opposite sex.
  • At a time when teenagers are learning to form relationships, those with acne may lack the self-confidence to go out and make these bonds. They become shy and even reclusive. The main concern is a fear of negative appraisal by others. In extreme cases a social phobia can develop.


  • Some children with acne refuse to go school, leading to poor academic performance.
  • Some people with acne take sick days from work, risking their jobs or livelihood.
  • Acne may reduce career choices, ruling out occupations such as modelling that depend upon personal appearance.
  • Acne patients are less successful in job applications; their lack of confidence being as important as the potential employers’ reaction to their spotty skin.
  • Many young adults with acne seek medical help as they enter the workforce, where they perceive that acne is unacceptable and that they “should have grown out of it by now”.

Does acne cause depression?

It’s a nasty cycle, to say the least. The thing is, while acne can be stressful, stress can lead to more acne, and, as I’m sure you can imagine, that emotional state of anxiety, plus grappling with low self-esteem issues caused by acne, is a really tough spot to be in.

In some patients the distress of acne may result in depression. This must be recognised and managed. Signs of depression include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Mood disturbance
  • Behavioural problems
  • Wakefulness
  • Spontaneous crying
  • Feelings of unworthiness.

In teenagers, depression may manifest as social withdrawal (retreat to the bedroom or avoidance of peers) or impaired school performance (lower grades or missed assignments)

Rarely, depression can be associated with acne treatment, particularly isotretinoin. There is much controversy about whether the drug causes depression. However, it is clear that depression often results from acne and the psychological disturbances described above.

Regardless of the cause, depression must be recognised and managed early. If you think you or someone you know may be depressed, contact your dermatologist or family doctor urgently for advice.

Even mild acne can affect one’s emotional health. This is especially true for teenage girls. In studies, teen girls often say that acne makes them feel unattractive.

Studies show that the longer acne lasts, the more likely it is to affect one’s emotions. Without treatment, acne can also worsen. If acne becomes severe, scars can appear as the acne clears.

Early treatment can prevent these problems. It can clear the skin and prevent acne from worsening. Some people need to continue treating their skin to prevent breakouts. For most people that’s probably a lot easier than dealing with the emotional distress and permanent acne scars.

So, if you or someone of you family or friends is suffering from acne book them in for free consultation with our experienced Cosmetologist who is an expert in acne treatment.