How Treating Acne Can Improve Your Mental Health

Woman feeling acne on her face How Treating Acne Can Improve Your Mental Health

Acne might appear on the surface of the skin, but its effects are more than skin deep. In fact, acne and acne treatment are more closely related to mental health than you might think. Here's what you need to know.

Acne and Depression

Did you know that people living with acne are more likely to develop depression? It might seem unlikely, but according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, people with acne are at a higher risk to experience symptoms of depression. This study spanned 15 years and revealed that people with acne have an 18% chance of developing depression. Those who didn't have acne only had a 12% chance of developing depression. This study also revealed that the risk for developing depression is highest within the first year of an acne diagnosis. In the age of Instagram influencers and social media, acne can have a big impact on self-esteem, especially for the young people it most often affects. Fortunately, acne treatment can help with that.

Early Diagnosis Is Key

Acne is fairly simple to diagnose-- a visual inspection by your dermatologist can confirm the presence of acne. Determining the underlying cause, on the other hand, can be a little bit tricky. In many young adults, acne can be a result of hormonal imbalances. This is particularly true for teens who are menstruating. Fortunately, hormonal birth control is one of the best acne treatments for correcting a hormonal imbalance. In other cases, stress can be a big factor in the development of acne. With so much social pressure exerted on teens, it's no surprise someone would be stressed out by not appearing the way an Instagram model does. So when acne rears its head, don't hesitate to make an appointment with a dermatologist. Early diagnosis and treatment can save you a lot of emotional distress in the long run.

Understand Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are countless acne treatment options out there, and most work fairly quickly. That being said, it's important to understand that you may try a few treatments that don't work out. That's why it's so important to work with a dermatologist to determine the best course of action. Everyone's skin is different, which means over-the-counter products just won't cut it sometimes. For the most effective treatment options, consulting with a dermatologist is your best bet. If you have sensitive skin, an orally-administered treatment or other type of acne medication might be best. But you may not have thought about that without the help of a dermatologist. And the more treatments you try without the help of a doctor, the more likely you are to get stressed and frustrated when "nothing works." Working with a dermatologist and investing in dermatology services from the get-go can help alleviate much of this stress.

What Can You Do in the Meantime?

While acne treatment can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, it's important to understand what you can do while your treatment is taking effect. First, try getting some distance from social media. The pressure to be picture perfect can often only add to the feelings of stress or inadequacy you may be feeling with your acne. Or scroll through the #nomakeup tag on Instagram for a reminder that you're not alone in your struggle. Talking to family and friends about their experiences can help, as well.

At North Pacific Dermatology, we want to help you live your happiest, most confident life. If you have questions about acne or you believe your condition is affecting your mental health, set up a consultation with our team today. Together we can find the right acne treatment for you.

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