No Need to Suffer with Acne


Canada’s first ever Acne Awareness Week is taking place next week, from September 14 to 20. Just as kids are starting high school, many are also heading into a time period during which they have to deal with pimples along with peer pressure and academic challenges.

Fun times.

But you may not realize the impact acne can have on the young (and not so young) people who have to deal with it. It’s significant, according to Dr. Jerry Tan, spokesperson for the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. Take a look:

Facts and stats: Acne 2015

  • Acne is extremely prevalent and affects 90 per cent of teens.
  • Acne affects people of all ethnic groups.
  • Some 5 million Canadians have acne.
  • 3 in 10 young people develop moderate acne, which usually requires medical treatment to bring it under control and limit the risk of scarring.
  • 1 in 2 teens (55 per cent) get acne scars on the faces.

Emotional impacts:

  • Acne occurs on the face in 99 per cent of cases and affects appearance and self-confidence.
  • For teens, acne can affect the development of self-image and assertiveness – factors that are important in forming friendships and dating. Having acne has been associated with teasing, bullying and eating disorders.
  • Research shows acne can result in significant emotional distress ranging from bad moods and embarrassment to anxiety and depression.
  • The rate of depression in acne patients is as high at 10 per cent.
  • Some acne sufferers say the hurt and shame they felt when they had acne can still be felt years afterwards. This is known as “emotional scarring.”
  • Research shows some people with mild to moderate acne experience psychological symptoms as serious as those associated with severe acne such as anxiety and depression.
  • Females feel the emotional impact of acne more than males and have higher rates of depression and anxiety. Researchers point to advertising featuring females with perfect, flawless skin as playing a part in this problem.
  • One study of acne patients showed the condition had a greater impact on mental health than asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, back pain, arthritis or heart disease.

Not Only a Teen Issue

  • Acne was once thought of as a teen-only skin condition. However, acne is common in adult women
  • Up to 22 per cent, or 1 in 5 women, suffer from acne during adulthood compared to just 3 per cent for men

The Good News

“Almost every case of acne can be successfully treated,” according to the society. “If acne is impacting your daily life, making you feel stressed, embarrassed, angry, sad, ashamed, if you don’t want to go out with friends or go to school, or if you notice scarring, there is no need to suffer through it. Get medical help.”

For details, see It’s one of the websites that provide information about acne and treatment options.


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