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Survey Reveals Perceptions of Teens With Acne--With Exclusive Commentary About How to Begin Acne Treatment for Teens

Posted: March 31, 2011

Only on SkinInc.com: Commentary from Rayda Ireifej, owner of The Brow and Skin Studio in Huntington Beach, CA, follows this article explaining how skin care professionals should begin treating teenage acne clients.

A new survey from the United Kingdom provides insight into just how teenagers and parents perceive teenagers with acne. The survey report publication coincides with the launch of a new website that will provide support to acne sufferers and their families. The results of the survey confirm that teenagers with acne are consistently perceived very differently as compared to teenagers without acne. Respondents generally felt that teenagers with acne would be less sociable and less successful. Teenagers with acne suggested that they would offer a lot in return for not having acne; one in two teenagers would stay off Facebook for a year if they could get rid of their acne forever. In addition, more than a quarter of teens with acne would refuse to have their picture taken and a fifth have untagged photos of themselves on Facebook, while around 15% have airbrushed their image to make sure their acne isn't visible in photos.

The survey also revealed that 70% of teenagers with acne have not sought medical advice, yet interestingly of the 30% who had sought medical advice, 91% noticed an improvement to their skin after using a prescription medicine. Results indicated:

  • That teenagers with acne are perceived less favorably than clear-skin teens by both teens and adults, demonstrating how acne may impact teen's' opportunities for advancing socially and academically.
  • That many parents appear to have misguided perceptions regarding the extent to which teens are affected by their acne. Living in the digital era of instant photography uploads and social networking could be making the issue of acne so much worse for today's teenagers than previous generations.
  • That the single biggest issue in the majority of teenagers' lives is their appearance, well ahead of issues to do with their social life and education. A solid opinion among teenagers was that their acne was not serious enough to warrant the doctors time.
  • And finally, the panel was surprised that so few seek treatment when there are so many effective treatments for acne, especially given the risk of scarring in serious acne when left untreated.

Teenagers and young adults are the age group most commonly affected by acne and the effects of having acne can be very distressing, leaving a negative effect on people's lives. Despite the high incidence of acne, little research has been conducted to examine the perceptions of both teenagers and parents of teenagers with acne.

"As dermatologists, we can control and manage acne effectively. Successful and early treatment will result in improved patient satisfaction, confidence and overall psychological well-being," says Alison Layton, MD, consultant dermatologist and chair of the Acne Academy.