Adverse events once thought to be associated with the effects of medication more likely reflect the social and mental burdens substantial acne can place on young people, an article in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology said.
Acne commonly affects adolescents during an important period when social relationships change and develop and young adults become increasingly independent, and when physical appearance is an essential factor in maintaining self-image and confidence, the article said.
Researchers in Norway reviewed a survey of 3,775 respondents ages 18-19 and found teenagers with severe acne reported having suicidal thoughts more frequently than teenagers with less acne.
Suicidal thoughts are a symptom and indicator of emotional distress but do not necessarily lead to suicide attempts, the researchers said.
Mental health problems and social impairment were also more common in young adults with substantial acne, the survey found.