Adolescents with acne experience anxiety over using social media, according to a recent online survey of teenagers in the United States. The results of the survey , conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Cutanea Life Sciences, Inc, demonstrate the negative impact of acne on body image and self-esteem.
Of 1010 teens surveyed (age range, 15–19 years), 86% said they have had acne, and a majority of respondents said that acne has a negative effect on their body image and attractiveness (71%) as well as their self-esteem (67%). Fifty-one percent of respondents who use social media said it makes having acne harder and 72% agreed most teenagers with acne are self-conscious about showing their acne on social media. As a result, 68% reported that most of their peers with acne edit or alter their photographs on social media, and 58% have offered to take a photograph to avoid being in a picture. Half of the respondents have taken at least 1 of the following actions to avoid displaying their acne on social media:
- Chose not to include a photograph on social media
- Deleted or untagged a photograph that showed their acne
- Asked someone else to take down a photograph because it showed their acne
- Altered, edited, retouched, or cropped a photograph to try and hide their acne
- Avoided having their picture taken with someone who had clearer skin
- Stayed off social media so they would not have to post or see photographs of themselves
Dermatologists should be aware of the psychosocial impact of acne in teenagers to provide effective management strategies. Although the majority of teens (61%) said they were doing everything possible to manage their acne, 1 in 3 respondents admitted to having difficulty managing their condition. To effectively treat acne, more than three-quarters said that it was at least very important to use a therapy that worked quickly (83%) and was affordable (80%) and easy to use (78%). Be sure to address the psychosocial impact of acne with your teenaged patients, especially pertaining to social media.