Acne anxiety: What to do when spots begin to affect your mental health

·2-min read

Anyone who has suffered from acne will know how it can impact your confidence.

Even though blemishes can be painful, the effect they have on mental health can be just as severe - with Dr Kaywaan Khan, medical director and aesthetic doctor at Hannah London, highlighting just how rife "acne anxiety" is in society at present.

"As acne is a visible skin condition, it can have a profound impact on mental health, confidence and self-worth," he said. "In early 2018, research published in the British Journal of Dermatology found patients with acne had an increased risk of developing major depression. Spots are often dismissed as a minor skin condition, but acne can impact all aspects of life; including relationships, friendships and work."

Dr. Khan went on to note that people who have acne often report actively avoiding social events and job interviews because of their skin, feel self-conscious in public, and find themselves constantly thinking about their breakouts.

So, what can be done to combat acne anxiety? A good place to start is by making an appointment with a dermatologist or skincare expert, who will not only be able to provide solutions, but point a patient in the right direction for mental health support.

In-clinic treatments include laser therapy, LED facials, chemical peels, and microneedling.

"The process of microneedling creates micro-punctures on the face. Our body treats these micro-punctures as small wounds and responds by increasing the production of collagen which leads to the healing of the skin. A by-product of this is the soothing of inflamed acne," Dr Kaywaan explained. "The number of sessions you need to see results depends on the thickness, amount and the type of scars you have. For more severe cases, at least five to six sessions will be needed."

But for some patients, at-home remedies may be suitable too, with Dr Ioannis Liakas, medical director and lead medical practitioner at Vie Aesthetics, praising the benefits of green tea.

"Green tea is a home remedy which could aid your skin's appearance, because it's high in antioxidants," he said. "Applying green tea to your skin may help aid acne by fighting off bacteria and also by reducing inflammation, two of the main causes of acne."

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