SAGE Journals

The Social and Psychological Impact of Acne Treatment: A Cross-Sectional Study of Blood Donors

Posted on 2022-08-23 - 00:13

Acne in adolescence and adulthood is believed to have a long-term impact on socioeconomic status (SES) and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) in adults.


To estimate the cross-sectional prevalence of medically treated (MedTreAc) and untreated acne (UnTreAc) and to characterize its long-term impact in adults.


A nationwide cross-sectional study on 17 428 blood donors aged 18-35 was performed. Associations among acne and HRQoL, depressive symptoms, total income, and SES were investigated via linear/logistic/multinomial logistic regression analyses adjusted for relevant covariables. HRQoL was measured by the Short Form-12, and depressive symptoms by the Major Depression Inventory. The data were self-reported.


Of the participants, 3591 (20.6%) and 1354 (7.8%) identified as the MedTreAc and UnTreAc phenotype, respectively. Neither phenotype was associated with a long-term impact on total income, but the MedTreAc group was associated with being an apprentice/student (OR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.42; P = 1.3×10-4) or high skill-level employee (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.07; 1.39, P = .0023), while self-employment was more common for those with UnTreAc (OR = 1.53; 95% CI: 1.12, 2.06, P = .0061). Additionally, the UnTreAc group was associated with a lower mental HRQoL (SF-12 mental component summary score −1.05, 95% CI: −1.56, −0.54; P = 1.4×10-9) and increased odds ratio of depressive symptoms (OR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.00, 2.02, P = .046).


In this population of blood donors, the cumulative prevalence of MedTreAc and UnTreAc were 20.6% and 7.8%, respectively. Untreated acne had a long-term impact on psychosocial well-being in adulthood. It was associated with lower mental HRQoL and higher occurrence of depressive symptoms. Acne was not associated with a lower salary or SES.


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Rune Kjærsgaard Andersen
Dorra Bouazzi
Christian Erikstrup
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Henrik Hjalgrim
Susan Mikkelsen
Henrik Ullum
Ole Birger Pedersen
Gregor Borut Ernst Jemec


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