Teenagers verbally abused because of their acne

A recent survey has found almost two-thirds of British teens with acne are verbally abused because of their skin condition.

The British Skin Foundation’s survey of 10-18 year-olds with acne shows they are often bullied by friends, family and even people they don’t know.

According to the survey, 62 per cent of teens with acne reported being verbally abused by friends, family or a person they know, while 40 per cent reported being verbally abused by a member of the public due to their acne.

Worryingly, the survey found this abuse can lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide, with 19 per cent reporting they have contemplated suicide due to their acne and a further 16 per cent reporting they have self-harmed.

Melbourne dermatologist and All About Acne spokesperson Dr Mei Tam said acne often had devastating effects on teenagers’ self-confidence and self-esteem, without the added stress of bullying.  

“Acne can contribute to sadness, anxiety, depressed mood, and feelings of worthlessness.”

“Encouragingly, almost half of those surveyed rely on their family and friends for support. This reinforces the importance of those closest to them giving emotional support and being vigilant for signs of any contemplation of self-harm or suicide.” 

“If you are concerned about the impact acne is having on someone you care about, please encourage the person to seek medical and professional help,” said Dr Tam.

 Reference: British Skin Foundation, Teenage Acne Survey 2014-2017, 525 respondents, 10-18 year olds

The All About Acne team – the authors of this site – are a group of medically-trained skin experts from across Australia who have an interest in acne management. Our experienced team of leading dermatologists guarantees the information on this website is independent and based on the highest quality research available.

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