How Acne Can Affect Your Teens Life

How Acne Can Affect Your Teen’s Life

Teen acne exerts profound social and psychological impact. These may be related to its severity, but even mild acne can be a disabling impact. Acne affects individuals of both genders across the years. It prominently occurs during the teen years. Close to 85 percent of individuals between 12 and 25 develop persistent acne.

How Teen Acne Affects Teenagers

The psychosocial impact of acne is of a huge concern. This is because acne impacts teens at a time when their personalities are developing. At this time, peer acceptance is critical for the teenager as links between physical demeanor and attraction and peer status are important. In current times, research, as well as practical inputs, show that acne can impact self-esteem, body image, social withdrawal and much more.

Self Esteem

Some acne patients use their hair to cover the blemishes. Girls were heavy makeup to camouflage the pimples though this can aggravate acne. Truncal acne can come in the way of energetic, active sports playing teens who enjoy either rugby or swimming.

Social Withdrawal

Acme, when it impacts the face, can create cruel taunts from others. Forming relationships with members of the opposite sex may not be easy. Teenagers are just learning to form relationships and acne impacts their self-confidence. Shyness and reclusiveness also result. The main issue is fear of negative appraisal by other individuals. Social phobia may also develop in severe cases.

Education and Work

How Acne Can Affect Your Teen's Life
Photo By: Caitlin Regan/ CC BY

Children with acne avoid school, leading to lack of academic excellence. Some people with acne take sick leave from work, risking their livelihoods or their jobs. Acne reduces career choices, canceling out applications such as modeling that are based on personal experience. Acne patients may experience less success in certain job applications on account of lack of confidence. Acne ridden adults need help as they enter the workforce, where this skin problem is unacceptable. Assessment of the impact of acne on a person is an important consideration. Tools assessing the impact of acne on psychology and quality of life are many such as AQOL, ADI, and CADI.


In some cases, a stress of acne results in depression. This has to be managed and dealt with. Depression includes loss of appetite, mood disturbance, lethargy, behavioral issues, spontaneous crying, and wakefulness as well as feelings of unworthiness. Depression manifests in terms of social withdrawal or academic failures. Acne causes severe depression resulting in cases where teens may even take their own lives in certain cases. When certain types of input are heard from parents, counselors, and friends, depression could be an indication of this. Depression can be associated with acne therapy namely isotretinoin. Much controversy exists about whether depression is induced by the drug. Depression may result from acne and psychological tensions incurred thereby.

Depression must be quickly diagnosed and managed early. If someone is depressed following a skin disorder, the dermatologist or family doctor needs to be consulted for advice.

Distorted Body Image

Even with minor acne, some patients suffer from a distorted body image. Even when lesions are not there, a severe acne may be considered and may cause the individual to undergo psychosocial symptoms. In such cases, there is dysmorphophobic acne. In case this is the abnormal behavior in question, response to oral isotretinoin therapy clears up spots. A low dose may prevent acne recurrence too. Severe cases of dysmorphophobias have a global mental disorder akin to anorexia nervosa. This requires dermatological and psychiatric assistance.

Quality of Life

Acne takes a toll on self-esteem and quality of life. It even leads to depression and psychological issues. Dermatologists consider the mental health of patients when they take acne problems into account. Acne is a major problem for teenagers and it is how people perceive themselves that causes more depression. A meta analysis of 16 studies conducted between 2001 and 2010 examining the associations between acne and quality of life, self-esteem, mood, psychological disorders, and personality is important.

In general, acne increases the risk for psychological disorders. Depression is 2-3 times more prevalent in those with acne than teens with clear skin. Women with acne are twice as likely to have depression. Acne is a common skin problem that involves pores which are clogged through whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples that pain. Preventing and treating acne is hard and keeping the condition minimal prevents scarring and leaves the skin in a glow.

Emotional Effect

Teens may have temporary acne outbreaks. Acne remains after puberty and persists into the later years. Mild acne can be handled but moderate to severe acne is a problem linked. Teens may have an acne outbreak but others may not have their luck, facing scarring and other issues even during the adult part of life. Mild acne may be easy to manage but severe or moderate acne is far harder. Pus filled acne sores can leave a permanent scar.

There are emotional aspects of acne too. Puberty is a point in life when teens are conscious about how they look and very concerned about being part of the gang. There’s a lot of pressure to look good and an acne outbreak can be a real problem. Spending hours on the appearance, it can be a frustrating experience to develop acne. This also impacts the confidence of the teenager. Teens may experience anxiety and low self-esteem. They need to be given support at this difficult time.

How You Can Help

How Acne Can Affect Your Teen's Life
Photo by: Kevin Dooley/ CC BY

Taking Acne Seriously

Telling the teen that acne will disappear is not good enough. Not taking steps to prevent acne from denting your teen’s self-esteem could harm his sense of self-worth. Studies have also demonstrated that acne lowers self-esteem. Kids with acne are also bullied. Classmates may refer to them by a name and this can also dent a teen’s self-confidence. So, give a pimple or blackhead ridden teen a sensitive explanation is important.


For helping your teen, acne treatment is essential. Teens need to take medical help for severe acne. A sensitive handling of the matter can be extremely helpful. Stress causes acne to flare up/ Having acne affects how teens and adults feel about their self-worth.

Meeting the Dermatologist

Meeting the Dermatologist for acne
Photo by: Ashley Webb/ CC BY

At the time of meeting the dermatologist, the teen should be given time to connect with the skin doctor and create a positive bond. Parents need to exercise sensitivity when it comes to accompanying the teen in the exam room. It also helps to have supportive parental help at the time of stress.


Seeing teen acne as just another pimple is not the right approach. In a time when hormones are surging and acne can be disfiguring, your teen needs crucial support to be able to overcome the problem. This is why acne treatment should focus on helping those in need and giving them the support, especially for teenagers who are sensitive to the fault and extremely fragile when it comes to self-esteem.

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