A Eurekalert release titled “Acne stigma linked to lower overall quality of life, Irish study finds” reports that women and young girls who experience acne are more likely to face a lower quality of life than males with acne.
A study from the University of Limerick, Ireland, has revealed that people who suffer from acne are “negatively impacted by perceived social stigma around the skin condition.”
217 individuals who suffer from acne participated in a survey. Their own negative perceptions of how society interprets their appearance were revealed, and said perceptions are affiliated with increased psychological stress levels, as well as sleep disturbance, headaches, and digestive problems.
Females who participated in the study were more severely impacted by these perceptions in regard to their quality of life, as well as in their symptoms. Males with acne were not impacted to the same extent, and the severity of one’s acne was linked to how seriously their quality of life was impacted as well as how strongly they experience psychological distress.
The study was conducted in an attempt to determine whether or not a person who has acne perceives societal stigma towards their condition, and whether or not these perceptions impact overall quality of life. Study participants who felt as though there was tremendous societal judgment for their skin had higher levels of anxiety and depression, with some even being at greater risk to develop respiratory illnesses.
Jamie Davern, a PhD student from the university, explained that much of the stigma that surrounds acne is a result of how seriously it is lacking in proper representation via popular culture.
Having suffered from acne myself for many years, the findings of this study don’t surprise me. Until someone experiences moderate to severe acne for themselves, it is difficult to fathom how much of a deterrent and stressor it is.
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