Hmmm. We’re not sure if this makes us feel even more grouchy about something we long suspected, or finally vindicated that it’s not all in our heads, but in a finding that will likely surprise no one, researchers just confirmed the unfortunate link between acne and depression.
Scientists in the UK, publishing this week in the British Journal of Dermatology, shared findings that clearly showed an increased risk of experiencing major depression in those with acne, as compared to those without.
In following 1,731,608 young men and women with no acne, and 134,427, with, over a 15 year period, researchers found that those suffering from acne were an incredible 63 per cent more likely to experience bouts of major depression within one year of an acne diagnosis, as compared to those whose skin was acne-free. The increased risk of depression for acne-prone patients lasts for five years after their initial onset, the study found.
And in case you were wondering about the role of those pesky teenaged hormones, most participants were followed from under the age of 19, all the way to through their 20s and beyond, so it seems like fluctuations in mood or feeling may have little to do with simple teenage mood swings.
Wow. On the one hand, it’s quite validating to hear this is a real phenomenon, especially for those of us who strongly feel the mind-body connection, but on the other, it’s a little disheartening.
On a lot of levels, it’s comforting to see hard data back up what for many people is clear in their day-to-day lived experience – that mind affects body, and vice versa. It’s possible that the two compound one another in a loop, you feel bad about your acne, feel down about it, your acne gets worse…and so on. Doctors could be advised to monitor moods in acne patients, helping them get treatment if necessary. Either way, it’s wise to become more aware of the various factors affecting our health, be it mental or physical. It might just help us to take things a little easier on ourselves.