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
3University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
Background and objective: Acne is the eighth most prevalent disease in the world with 9.4% of the global population being affected by it. This acne “epidemic” is well described and recent investigations have shown a direct link between acne and depression.
Methods: An observational study was conducted to evaluate the mental health of patients with acne using an adapted Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. 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. 23.1% of respondents (22.6% of females vs. 25% of males) had depression disorder: this being mild in 11.6% of females, moderate in 8% and severe in 3%, while the respective figures for males were 10.7% mild and 14.3% moderate. Furthermore, a statistically significant moderate positive correlation was found between depression disorder and objectively evaluated acne severity (ρ = 0.526, p < 0.001). Likewise, a similar correlation was found comparing the severity of depression disorder and subjectively assessed acne severity (ρ = 0.570, p < 0.001). Notably, acne was considered the cause of suicidal thoughts for 12.9% of patients: 13.1%
Conclusions: Acne is a chronic disease that actually can be associated with emotional mental health. Depression was prevalent in more than every fourth respondent. 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.