Effects of isotretinoin on social anxiety and quality of life in patients with acne vulgaris: a prospective trial

Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2012;20(2):80-3.


Social anxiety is common in acne patients and the effects of isotretinoin treatment on social anxiety symptoms have not yet been thoroughly investigated. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of isotretinoin treatment on the quality of life and social anxiety symptoms in a group of acne vulgaris patients. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) were administered to 39 (24 female and 15 male) patients with acne vulgaris who accepted isotretinoin treatment and agreed to participate in the study. The severity of acne was evaluated using the Global Acne Grading System. Thirty patients completed 6-month treatment with oral isotretinoin at 0.5-1.0 mg/kg daily doses. Measurements were repeated at the end of 6 months. Acne significantly improved over time in the study group. The mean performance avoidance score in LSAS and mean pain and social functioning scores in SF-36 were significantly better at the end of isotretinoin treatment. In conclusion, isotretinoin treatment improves the quality of life and social anxiety symptoms in acne patients.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage
  • Isotretinoin / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Young Adult


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Isotretinoin