Does your acne lead to mental distress?

University of Oslo researcher Jon Anders Halvorsen together with co-authors from Lhasa (Tibet) and Boston (US) studied 3775 adolescents to explore the possible causes of acne.

Several studies with conflicting findings have investigated the association between acne and mental health problems. Acne usually starts in adolescents, as does an increase in the prevalence of depression and anxiety. Recently, there has been more focus on the link between diet and acne and diet and mental health problems. In this frame, the study investigated the association between acne and mental distress and a possible influence of dietary factors on the relation.

Methods

A population-based cross-sectional study in Oslo of 18 or 19 year old adolescents. The participation rate was 80%. Acne was self-reported. To measure mental distress, the Hopkins Symptom Checklist 10 was used. Diet and lifestyle variables were also collected by questionnaire and socio-demographic variables were obtained from Statistics Norway.

Results

Among late adolescents in Oslo, self-reported acne is significantly associated with mental distress and, among girls, with infrequent consumption of raw vegetables. Our finding does not support the hypothesis that dietary factors alter the relationship between acne and mental distress.

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