Studies have generally shown that depression and acne often go hand in hand. Doctors think this may be because acne is considered a cosmetic flaw, which may lower a person's self-esteem. As acne recovers, which usually happens after the teen years, self-esteem often improves as well and depression usually goes away. In cases where people never manage to get rid of acne, depression may linger.
In addition to the obvious cosmetic difficulties, the association involving depression and acne may be exacerbated by the social environment in high schools. When kids are in their teen years, many of them are more prone to treat people in insensitive ways. Acne can actually be one of the main reasons a person might suffer psychological or physical bullying. Teens with acne may already realize that they have a cosmetic issue, and if children at school are reinforcing their low self-opinions by making insulting comments and ostracizing them, it can make things worse.
Since depression and acne are so frequently connected, many doctors suggest that it can be helpful if parents try to anticipate possible emotional problems in teens with acne. Many parents always try to remind children of their self-worth, but if a child has acne, an extra effort may be required in order to overcome some of the inherent problems that are often present. According to experts, parents may also want to watch for signs of severe depression in their teens if acne is present, partly because there is a much greater chance of suicide and other extreme behavior.
The connection between depression and acne can also be seen as another incentive to try and rid children of acne when it's possible. Some medications have been developed that can potentially reduce acne, and dermatologists have several treatment methods available. In cases where acne is reduced or removed, the depression associated with it will usually go away as well.
Studies have shown a possible connection between some acne medications and incidents where people commit suicide. Governments around the world were initially very concerned about these studies and launched emergency investigations. Eventually, many researchers decided that the actual problem was probably the acne itself and the way it makes people feel about themselves. Individuals with acne severe enough to seek medical attention are usually those with the worse cases; therefore, they are more likely to suffer from severe depression.