High risk of depression after acne diagnosis

New research shows depression and acne may be more closely linked than previously thought. 

A large study has found people with acne have a significantly increased risk of developing depression in the first five years of being diagnosed with the common skin condition. Researchers found the highest risk of depression was in the first year following the acne diagnosis.

The study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, used data from a UK health records database, which included approximately 130,000 people with acne and 1.7 million people without acne from 1986 to 2012.

People with acne had an 18.5% chance of developing depression compared with 12% of those without acne over the 15-year follow-up. The risk of depression was 63% in the first year from acne diagnosis and decreased afterwards.

People with acne were more likely to be aged 19 or younger, female and were never smokers. In this study, females were also more likely to develop depression, a finding consistent with other studies.

The authors reinforced how important it is for doctors to monitor mood symptoms in patients with acne and start early management of depression or consult with a psychiatrist.

If acne is affecting your enjoyment of life, talk to your doctor. They can help with acne and your mood. Alternatively, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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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