Whether it’s an occasional spot or unrelenting breakouts, anyone who has ever struggled with skin problems would agree that acne can be a serious downer. And a new study published earlier this week in the British Journal of Dermatology backs this up with science.
Researchers followed 130,000 people with acne and 1.7 million without, tracking their physical and mental health for over 15 years.
Their findings? A definitive link between acne and an increased risk of developing depression.
In fact, the probability of being diagnosed with the disease was 18.5 per cent among patients with acne and 12 per cent in those without. This risk was higher in the first five years after their skin issues started, and especially so in the first year – spiking at a whopping 63 per cent.
Most interestingly, after the acne cleared the risk returned to normal levels.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a cause and effect relationship between the two.
The researchers suggest that the connection has more to do with the specific inflammatory response that goes hand in hand with acne, which may also be responsible for the mental health issues that often accompany it (self-esteem problems and social isolation, etc.)
“Our study shows that people with acne are at a much greater risk of having true clinical depression and not just a sad mood,” the study’s lead author, Isabelle Vallerand told Allure.
“As such, people affected by acne who have concerns about their mental health should absolutely be taken seriously. We recommend that dermatologists, and other healthcare providers treating patients with acne, be aware of emerging symptoms of depression in their patients.”