'I sort of balance it out'. Living with facial acne in emerging adulthood

J Health Psychol. 2015 Sep;20(9):1154-65. doi: 10.1177/1359105313509842. Epub 2014 Jan 7.


Many emerging adults live with mild-to-moderate visible facial acne, but little is known about their experiences. A qualitative interview study was conducted with 11 adults aged 18-22 years, which aimed to explore the meaning of living with visible acne. A thematic analysis revealed three superordinate themes: coping strategies, self-perceptions and interpersonal relationships. Results revealed the utility of researching visible acne in emerging adulthood, including the use of multiple coping strategies. Health psychologists need to consider individual differences for young adults who are living with a visible difference. The importance of the peer group and family is also explicated.

Keywords: appearance; beliefs; health psychology; qualitative methods; youth.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Concept*
  • Young Adult