Acne linked with higher risk of depression

Risk highest in year after diagnosis
  • Deborah Condon

People with acne have an increased risk of developing major depression, the results of a new study suggest.

Researchers carried out an analysis of one of the largest electronic medical records databases in the world, which included people who had been assessed between 1986 and 2012 in the UK.

They found that patients with acne had a much higher risk of developing major depression, but only in the first five years after the diagnosis.

The risk was highest within the first 12 months of the diagnosis. During this time, those with acne had a 63% higher risk of developing major depression compared to those without acne.

The researchers said that the findings show that doctors should monitor the mental health of patients with acne and begin prompt treatment if depression becomes an issue.

"This study highlights an important link between skin disease and mental illness. Given the risk of depression was highest in the period right after the first time a patient presented to a physician for acne concerns, it shows just how impactful our skin can be towards our overall mental health.

"For these patients with acne, it is more than a skin blemish - it can impose significant mental health concerns and should be taken seriously," commented the study's lead author, Dr Isabelle Vallerand, of the University of Calgary in Canada.

Details of these findings are published in the British Journal of Dermatology.


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