Teens with severe acne do not seek medical care

Adolescents with acne often avoid seeking medical advice, even when they rate their own acne as severe, a US survey has shown.

Acne: teenagers often choose not to seek medical help (photo: SPL)
Acne: teenagers often choose not to seek medical help (photo: SPL)

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts asked 1,214 adolescents aged 10 to 19 about their experience of acne and their treatment choices.

Most of the adolescents (57%) treated their own acne and only 17% had sought medical care. Even among those who rated their acne as severe, most (59%) said they had never sought medical treatment for their condition.

The researchers said the findings highlighted the need to educate adolescents about the treatment options available.

‘Our study reveals gaps in help-seeking behaviour regarding acne in adolescence,’ they said. ‘[It] underscores the need for physicians and public health campaigns to increase
awareness of acne as a treatable medical condition, especially in those with severe acne.’

The University of Massachusetts team said that the quality of the information sources being used by adolescents should be evaluated.

‘Self-perceived acne severity is a crucial factor influencing adolescents’ treatment practices and may serve as a useful measure for physicians to track patient outcomes,’ they said.

‘Although beliefs and knowledge about acne may not drive adolescents to seek medical care, they may affect adherence to medical treatment regimens, emphasizing the potential for physicians to improve adherence rates through patient education.’

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