Acne is a condition which can give both physical and psychological scars. Young persons are vulnerable to the negative effects of acne. Our survey investigates whether the knowledge about causes and treatment of acne is satisfactory among 14- and 15-year-olds. How does acne effect their self-esteem and well-being in school? Is there a need for information and how is their help-seeking behaviour?
Our survey included 304 students from 5 different schools. The response rate was 99%.
The results show that 57,6% found acne a troublesome condition, 27,1% reported a negative impact on their self-esteem and 11,5% reduced well-being in school. The knowledge of causes was scored on a scale from 0-10. The average was 5,43, which defines a need for distribution of information. 63,8% still think that chocolate isa cause of acne. Among options of treatment Clearasil is best known, despite being less effective than other products not on prescription. It is worrysome that 62,8 % think bad hygiene is a cause of acne, highlighting the harmful prejudice that acne is a filthy disease. 59,7% reported washing their face more frequently to avoid acne.
Our survey confirms that most young people are affected by acne, but very few contact a doctor (3,9%). There is a need for information about causes and effective treatment to help battle the stigma of a condition which is easy to treat. It is important to lower the threshold for seeking medical help.