Anxiety, depression, and nature of acne vulgaris in adolescents

Department of Psychiatry, Celal Bayar Üniversitesi, Saruhan, Manisa, Turkey
International Journal of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 1.23). 05/2000; 39(5):354-7. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.2000.00907.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The reported prevalence of acne in adolescence is variable; improved treatment may have modified its prevalence and severity; acne has been related to psychiatric morbidity for many years.
Two thousand six hundred and fifty-seven high school students were examined, and adolescents with acne were interviewed about the subject of acne vulgaris. The severity of acne was graded using the Global Acne Grading System (GAGS). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale was evaluated for one of every two subjects with acne (n = 308) and for the same number of sex-matched control subjects (n = 308) to determine the prevalence of depression and anxiety.
Six hundred and fifteen of the subjects (23. 1%) were determined to have acne. Acne prevalence in girls and boys was 16.1% and 29.2%, respectively (P < 0.001). Two hundred and twenty-five (15.8%) of 1424 boys and only 109 (8.8%) of 1233 girls had moderate or severe/very severe acne (P < 0.001), but the GAGS scores in the groups of boys and girls with acne were not significantly different. The acne and control groups showed no significant differences in the HAD anxiety and depression subscale scores. The HAD anxiety subscale scores of girls were significantly higher than those of boys in the acne group. The severity of acne was not correlated with the HAD anxiety or depression subscale scores.
Acne results in higher anxiety in adolescent girls. Although acne and moderate/severe acne are more common in adolescent boys, the severity of acne was found to be similar in boys and girls with acne. Adolescent girls are more vulnerable than boys to the negative psychological effects of acne.

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    ABSTRACT: Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition, which affects most adolescents at some point in their lives. It has been found to have a significant impact on their psychological well-being and has been associated with depression and suicide ideation. Many studies have assessed the impact of acne vulgaris on the quality of life (QoL) in different population subgroups around the world, but there is a dearth of reports from the African subcontinent. This study thus seeks to assess the severity of acne vulgaris and determine its effect on the QoL of adolescents in Lagos, Nigeria. In a cross-sectional survey employing a two-stage sampling method, the severity of acne vulgaris and its impact on the QoL of adolescents attending a senior secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria was assessed using the Global Acne Grading Scale (GAGS) and the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI), respectively. The correlation between the results of the GAGS and CADI was also determined. One hundred and sixty adolescent students with acne were recruited, with males accounting for 51.9% and females 48.1%. The mean and standard deviation of the GAGS severity scores were 11.3±5.4 for males and 11.9±5.4 for females. Only one student had severe acne vulgaris (GAGS, 31-38), 10% moderate (GAGS, 19-30), and 89.4% mild (GAGS, 1-18). The overall CADI score was 3.4±3.0, which suggests mild impairment in QoL; however, the solitary student with severe acne had severe QoL impairment. There was a weak positive correlation between the GAGS and the CADI score. Most adolescents in our study had mild acne vulgaris, and the overall impact on their QoL was mild. However, the correlation between the psychosocial impact and acne severity was weak. There is a need for similar studies in other parts of the country and for further studies to determine the adequacy of the existing instruments in assessing the impact of acne vulgaris in Nigerian adolescents.
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