If you've ever felt like your acne significantly impacts your mood, this one's for you: According to a new study in the British Journal of Dermatology, there's a scientific link between acne and depression.
Among the patients followed for 15 years, 134,427 had acne and 1,731,608 did not.
To do so, they assessed data from the Health Improvement Network, the largest electronic medical records database in the world, and they examined information from 1986 to 2012. The majority were aged under 19 at the beginning of the study period.
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After monitoring the subjects for 15 years, it was revealed that 18.5 percent of those with acne are at a risk of developing major depression while 12 percent of those without acne are at a risk to the mental health issue. However, they advised doctors to carefully monitor their patients for depression and seek proper treatment if necessary.
The lead author, Isabelle A. Vallerand, an epidemiologist at the University of Calgary, said she was surprised to see such a markedly increased risk. The mental health concerns should be taken seriously, researcher warned.
Again, these numbers won't be shocking to anyone who has struggled with their skin, but it's also interesting to consider the idea that the connection has more to do with inflammation than the low self-esteem or social isolation that can sometimes accompany acne.
Also, female patients are more likely to have acne (or to present to a doctor) and are also more likely to develop major depressive disorder, which is consistent with existing literature.