Laura Lukavičiūtė 1, Petras Navickas1, Rūta Gancevičienė 1,2, Alvydas Navickas 1,3
1Vilnius University Medical Faculty, Vilnius, Lithuania
2Vilnius University Medical Faculty Dermatovenereologic Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
3Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
Background and objective: Acne is a disease that affects a person not only physically but also emotionally. So the aim of this study was to investigate the co-occurrence of anxiety in patients with acne.
Methods: An observational study was conducted to evaluate the mental health of patients with acne using an adapted Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, questions about demography (sex, age) and characteristics of acne (duration, severity). Patients with acne were asked to complete a questionnaire at outpatient dermatovenereology clinics in Vilnius in 2016.
Results: A total of 255 respondents were assessed, 199 (78%) of whom were females and 56 (22%) were males. Acne severity was evaluated in two ways: subjectively and objectively by a dermatovenereologist. When evaluating their skin condition, patients considered their acne to be less severe compared to the objective dermatological assessment. 38.4% of respondents (40.2% of females vs. 32.1% of males) had anxiety disorder: this being mild in 15.6% of females, moderate in 15.6% and severe in 9%, while the respective figures for males were 12.5% mild, 15.1% moderate and 3.6% severe. As a result, a statistically significant moderate positive correlation was found between anxiety disorder and objectively evaluated acne severity (ρ = 0.423, p < 0.001). Likewise, a similar correlation was found comparing the severity of anxiety disorder and subjectively assessed acne severity (ρ = 0.476, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Acne is a chronic disease that can have an association and provoke anxiety symptomatology in some patients. It is important to denote that patients tended to classify their acne as less severe relative to the objective evaluation carried out by a dermatovenereologist.