acne mental health

7 Signs That Acne May Be Hurting Your Teen's Mental Health

The effects of Acne often travel far more than skin deep. Acne and its outbreaks can damage a teen’s self-esteem, and have a negative impact on all aspects of their life, including social engagement and school work.

Teens who are stressed or embarrassed about their acne “don’t have the energy because it’s being zapped by the anxiety and depression acne causes,” says Dr. Neal Schultz, a dermatologist in New York City.

Here are 7 signs your child’s acne may be affecting their emotional well-being. Be on guard if your tween or teen:

  1. Stops making eye contact with peers or adults1
  2. Finds excuses to miss 1:1 or group social events1
  3. Changes their hairstyle to cover their face1
  4. Starts wearing hoodies all the time1
  5. Starts turning off the camera on video calls with friends, classmates, or family2
  6. Stops following all or parts of their acne regimen3
  7. Becomes so distracted that he or she can’t focus on school work1

If your child experiences any of the signs in conjunction with ongoing acne or breakouts, it may be time to seek the advice of a dermatology professional or psychologist.


1. Hazarika N, Archana M. The Psychosocial Impact of Acne Vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol. 2016 Sep-Oct;61(5):515-20. doi: 10.4103/0019-5154.190102. PMID: 27688440; PMCID: PMC5029236.

2. Galderma Laboratories L.P. Data on File. Wakefield Research AKLIEF Cream Survey Raw Data Readout. December 2020.

3. 10 Skin Care Habits That Can Worsen Acne. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed August 2, 2022.

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