People diagnosed with acne may be at a significantly increased risk of developing major depression within five years, according to scientists who analysed one of the largest electronic medical record databases in the world.
Researchers found that the risk for major depression was highest within one year of acne diagnosis — a 63 per cent higher risk compared with individuals without acne — and decreased thereafter.
The results indicate that it is critical that physicians monitor mood symptoms in patients with acne and initiate prompt treatment for depression or seek consultation from a psychiatrist when needed. “This study highlights an important link between skin disease and mental illness,” said Isabelle Vallerand, of the University of Calgary in Canada.
“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,” said Vallerand, lead author of the study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
“For these patients with acne, it is more than a skin blemish – it can impose significant mental health concerns and should be taken seriously,” she said.