Living with acne. A study of adolescents' personal experiences

Dermatology. 2007;215(4):308-14. doi: 10.1159/000107624.


Background: Acne can have important psychological repercussions.

Objectives: We studied adolescents' perceptions of acne, in a nonmedical context.

Methods: Between November 2004 and January 2005, a questionnaire was presented to adolescents calling a youth helpline. It focused on perceptions of acne and, among callers with personal experience of acne, its severity and treatment. Callers were divided into those with acne, those having had acne and those never having had acne.

Results: The questionnaire was completed by 1,566 callers. It showed that 51% of respondents with acne did not seek medical help; acne has as big a psychological impact as some far severer diseases; many respondents with no history of acne said they were very worried that they would develop this skin disorder.

Conclusions: This study underlines the major psychological impact of acne. Young people need to be informed that acne can be treated.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires