Study Shows Even Mild Acne Can Be Associated With Clinical Depression and Suicide

June 24, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Citing a study which shows that even mild acne can be associated with such emotional problems as significant clinical depression and even suicide, a physician who treats depression and cosmetic skin problems is encouraging parents to seek medical treatment for their teenagers who have acne.

"It’s been found that the cosmetic impact of even mild acne can cause a profound emotional burden for some young people," said Dr. Aaron Barson, Medical Director of Surface Medical Spas, a medical clinic in Layton that treats acne along with a host of other cosmetic skin conditions. “During high-school and college, appearance becomes one of the defining characteristics of how people see themselves. Taking care of treatable cosmetic problems at this time can lead to greater self-confidence and success later on in life.”

The research stems from a Canadian study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. Using a standard 52-item rating scale for depression, psychologists examined the prevalence of depression among 480 dermatology patients with four different skin disorders, including acne. They found that the level of depression and suicidal thinking among patients with mild to moderate acne was similar to that among patients suffering from moderately severe psoriasis, a far more chronic and cosmetically disfiguring condition.

The study concludes that, "The effect of a skin disorder on body image should be assessed in the context of the patient's life and development stage, as teenagers and young adults with acne may have greater difficulty adjusting to the cosmetic problems imposed by the skin disorder in contrast to older individuals with more chronic and disfiguring problems”.

This new research, as well as studies that date back as early as 1948, shows that acne can affect all dimensions of a person's psychosocial well-being. According to the study, the effects may be expressed in a number of ways, including low self-esteem and self-confidence, negative body image, anger, embarrassment leading to social withdrawal and lifestyle limitations. The study suggests that seeking rapid correction of an acne problem may be critically important for some people. Rather than treating the problem with over-the-counter medications and taking a wait and see approach, an evaluation by a healthcare professional can help determine the best treatment method from all of the options available.

Fortunately there is help here now. New treatments that have stemmed from hair removal using light waves have been proven to be effective in treating acne and have recently been given FDA approval.

“The pulsed light treatments have produced remarkable results”, said Dr. Barson. “We are treating acne and other skin problems immediately and with greater effectiveness than traditional therapies”.

Here’s how it works. A high energy pulse of light is generated by a laser type machine and applied to the treatment area in a burst that lasts 1/400 of a second. The filtered light is absorbed by the targeted subcutaneous oil glands damaging and disabling them while destroying the bacteria that breed inside the glands. The procedure lasts about ten minutes and although several visits may be needed, the treatment boasts a nearly perfect record and most patients feel only a mild snapping sensation. The effects are nearly immediate and eliminate the need for prescription drugs like Accutane that have been proven to cause birth defects.

For patients suffering from the after effects of acne, namely pitting and scarring of the face, there is additional help. Through a combination of Microdermabrasion, Collagen replenishment and filler injections, the cosmetic effects of acne may be greatly mitigated.

And how well does it work? “We’ve achieved results that were impossible just a year ago,” says Dr. Barson. “We have achieved acne reduction rates approaching 100% in some patients after three treatments.

Acne is a disease that affects approximately 20 million people in the United States and nearly 80 percent of the population will develop some form of acne during their lifetime. While the condition is most prevalent among teenagers, acne affects people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It develops when the hair follicles become clogged by skin cells that block the opening of pores.

Surface Medical Spas provides cosmetic procedures including acne treatments using new non-invasive light technologies. The company’s web site, offers treatment and technology information.

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