Teenage Acne Can Lead To Struggles With Mental Health

For most teenagers and young adults, acne can be a frustrating part of daily life. Often the butt of jokes and teasing among friends, the common skin condition can prompt emotional pain as well. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects more than 50 million Americans each year with most sufferers falling between the ages 12 and 24. During this impressionable time in adolescent development, it is vital for parents to watch for the telltale signs that acne might be triggering psychological issues.

Studies have shown patients suffering with acne can develop mental health problems ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms of inner struggle can include depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, poor peer interaction, low self-esteem, and negative body image. If you see any of these signs, it is important to seek immediate help from a qualified mental health professional. Additional resources can be found at samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

With teenagers making up 80 percent of acne sufferers, the psychological blow during important formative years of self-image and confidence can lead to mental health consequences lasting beyond skin lesions. In a study published by The British Journal of Dermatology, researchers found the risk of depression remained higher for up to five years for acne patients after completed treatment. 

Dermatologist Gregory Delost of Apex Dermatology in Mayfield Heights understands the pain. “As a teen, I struggled with severe acne even sometimes avoiding friends due to embarrassment,” Delost shares. The doctor’s firsthand experience with the condition helped motivate him to become a dermatologist and help others battling acne.

Apex colleague Nely Aldrich, MD, agrees. “Not having clear skin is a condition that significantly impacts a person’s self-esteem,” Dr. Aldrich added.  

However, there is good news. Treatment options are available and easily accessible. Skin care products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and sulfur make up the first lines of defense. If no improvement is seen, the next step is to make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist and work with trained professionals.

Apex Nurse Practitioner Marlise Fletter offered, “The outcome of effective acne treatment can be life-changing.  I’ve seen patients go from quiet and withdrawn to vibrant and full of life once their skin clears.”

The new Acne Clinic at Apex Dermatology offers patients state-of-the-art, comprehensive acne treatment. In most cases, patients can be seen as quickly as the same day to jumpstart the healing process. Apex dermatologists begin by assessing patient needs and then create a customized treatment plan including skincare routines, medication, and suggested lifestyle changes. The doctors may also recommend meeting with the aesthetic nurses who can speed the skin clearing process with medical-grade treatments. Throughout the process, patients regularly meet with dermatologists to monitor progress and adjust the plan as needed. Once skin is clear, any scarring can be addressed. Patients also receive coupons books for discounts on products and services.

With school starting soon, now is the time for parents to address teen skin problems, start medical care, and avoid any adverse emotional effects by making an appointment with the Apex Dermatology Acne Clinic. The providers at Apex are passionate about clearing their patients’ skin and supporting them on the recovery journey. This philosophy sets the practice apart from others.

"At Apex we are all about the patient experience. Our new Acne Clinic will have a 360-degree approach to acne. We will focus on a customized treatment plan for each patient - from medical treatments, to providing the latest in scar revision, to making sure patients are screened for anxiety or depression often caused by acne. Our goal is to partner with our patients on all fronts and get them back in the game - acne free.  We are really setting a new standard for acne in Northeast Ohio. The road to clear skin begins at Apex,” added Founder and CEO Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga”

To schedule an acne appointment with one of the acne specialists, Dr. Delost (Mayfield Heights), Dr. Aldrich (Hudson), Marlise Fletter (Solon), Katie Novotny (Concord), Dr. Karpinski (Medina), or Dr. Cynthia Henry (Westlake), call 1-833-279-SKIN (7546).  

Apex Dermatology was founded 10 years ago by Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga with a goal of offering easy access to excellent dermatology care. Apex Dermatology is now the premier dermatology practice in Northeast Ohio specializing in medical, surgical, and aesthetic dermatology. With 10 locations, same-day appointment scheduling, short wait times, and a staff that prioritizes patient experience, we are the best option for any skin care needs. For more information about Apex Skin, visit www.apexskin.com.

Ruth Sensale

Healthcare writer

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 3:53 PM, 09.01.2021