The Impact of Acne and Bullying in the Pediatric Population

Written by Naomi Shaikh, M.D., Pediatrician, East West Pediatrics

Bullying among today’s youth has become increasingly common, with up to 77 percent of teenagers reporting they have been bullied at school.1 While the underlying reasons for bullying are varied, acne (experienced by 85 percent of adolescents) is a common cause of bullying for many teens.2, 3

According to results of a recent United States survey of 817 teenagers that was sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P, more teenagers with acne than those without (76 percent versus 53 percent) report that they have been bullied, and almost three times as many of these teenagers with blemishes compared to those without believe that this bullying has happened because of their skin.3
Skin conditions like acne can impact teenagers emotionally and socially by affecting their confidence. The survey showed that most teenagers, including those who experience acne (83 percent) and those who do not (72 percent), believe that not having clear skin can make social situations like making friends and dating more difficult.3
As a practicing pediatrician, I have seen the emotional impact that acne can have on teenagers first-hand. Despite this, teenagers are often hesitant to bring up their concerns about their skin with their parents, not realizing that it is a treatable condition. Parents also sometimes do not discuss it with pediatricians, not wanting to bring up an uncomfortable topic in front of their children who are already self-conscious about their acne. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of teenagers with acne report that they have never seen a doctor for this issue.3
It is important that parents of children with acne understand how it is affecting them. The spring is a great time for parents to make their child an appointment, so they can get effective treatment for their acne and feel confident during the school year and throughout their young adulthood.

References
1 BullyingStatistics.org.“Bullying Statistics.” 29 Oct. 2013. http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-statistics.html.
2 Krowchuk, Daniel P. “Managing adolescent acne: A guide for pediatricians.” Pediatrics in Review. 2005; 26 (7): 250-262.
3 Kelton Research Survey. Acne and Bullying. 2012.

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