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Acne Patients at Significantly Higher Risk of Major Depression

People with acne have a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, but only in the first five years after diagnosis, according to a study recently published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Canadian researchers conducted an analysis of nearly two million people and found that people with acne are at greatest risk for major depression within a year of their diagnosis. Their risk of suffering from major depression during this time is 63 per cent higher than for people who do not suffer from the skin condition.

Over the 15-year follow-up, the probability of developing major depressive disorder was 18.5 per cent among patents with acne and 12 per cent among the general population without acne.

Consistent with existing literature, the study also found that women are more likely to have acne (or are more likely to present to a doctor) and are also more likely to develop major depressive disorder.

The study highlights an important link between skin disease and mental illness, researchers noted, concluding that it is important for doctors to monitor mood symptoms in patients with skin conditions and initiate prompt treatment for depression or refer to a psychiatrist.

Read more recent research on acne.


Vallerand, I.A., et al. (7 February 2018.) Risk of depression among patients with acne in the U.K.: a population-based cohort study. British Journal of Dermatology. DOI: 10.1111/bjd.16099

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