Self-esteem and body satisfaction among late adolescents with acne: results from a population survey

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Nov;59(5):746-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.07.013.


Background: The association of acne and self-evaluation is barely explored among late adolescents in the general population.

Objective: We sought to explore self-esteem, body satisfaction, and acne among 18-year-old young adults at a community level.

Methods: We conducted a questionnaire-based survey among 3775 late adolescents.

Results: Our response rate was 80%. The prevalence of acne was 13.5%. Girls and boys with acne had significantly more depressive symptoms, lower self-attitude, more feelings of uselessness, fewer feelings of pride, lower self-worth, and lower body satisfaction than those without acne. In a regression model adjusting for body mass index and depressive symptoms, acne explained significantly poor self-attitude for boys only (odds ratio 2.07 [confidence interval 1.10; 3.88]) and poor self-worth for girls only (odds ratio 1.88 [confidence interval 1.23; 2.88]).

Limitations: Not all items of the self-esteem instrument were included.

Conclusions: At age 18 years, acne is related to self-evaluation independent of body mass index and depressive symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult