Study Finds Acne Sufferers Abused

An alarming new study has found more than half of all acne sufferers experience verbal ridicule and bullying, and even suicidal thoughts, as a result of their skin, writes Nadia Stennett.

With the anti-sexism movement in full swing and initiatives like Bullying, No Way! and Ride With Me pronouncing our advancement toward social equality, it’s hard to imagine that in this day and age, you’d need to fear criticism, simply for the condition of your skin.

But a disturbing new study by the British Skin Foundation has found a whopping 57 per cent of all acne sufferers cop verbal abuse from complete strangers for just that reason.

The survey, which included more than 2,000 participants found that the skin condition negatively impacts upon the lives of 95 per cent of those who live with it, with 63 per cent admitting their confidence had taken a beating as a result.

almost a third of all sufferers said they had received unfair treatment at work or by staff while in education as a result of their skin

Perhaps even more shockingly, almost a third of all sufferers said they had received unfair treatment at work or by staff while in education as a result of their skin, with a further 40 per cent saying it had lead to workplace bullying.

Over 10 per cent of sufferers felt they had been unfairly dismissed from work because of their acne and almost a third said they were were not offered satisfactory treatment by a member of the medical profession.

20 per cent of acne sufferers had considered or attempted taking their own lives because of the condition

And, most alarmingly, the disturbing new survey found an astounding 20 per cent of acne sufferers had considered or attempted taking their own lives because of the condition.

Consultant dermatologist and British Skin foundation spokesperson, Dr Anjali Mahto says the results are a wake-up call for both the medical practicion and beauty professionals to take the condition seriously.

“What is really sad is that acne, for the majority of people is a treatable skin disorder. People do underestimate acne and the impact it has on those suffering with it. These results highlight that acne should be taken far more seriously. We also need to investigate the psychological burden of this further.”

If you, or someone you know is having difficulty and would like to talk to someone, call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or head to


Have your say: Do you think acne is taken as seriously as it should be? Do these results concern you?


One thought on “Study Finds Acne Sufferers Abused

  1. Thank you for highlighting this! I think, as beauty professionals, we owe it to our clients to sympathetically educate our clients who suffer about the various treatments and causes of acne.

    We often underestimate the impact our advice can offer our clients. While they don’t need us to sit there and point it out (they live it everyday) – but advising them on what to avoid, treatments outside of topical applications (like seeing an endocrinologist instead of a GP and seeking the assistance of other professionals like dermatologists and nutritionists) can really help point our clients in the right direction.

    Clients often get stuck in a rut of only being aware of those products whose companies can afford to advertise the most (and we know these often aren’t the right or the best products). Educate! Educate! Educate!

    Never underestimate what an impact the right advice (being tactful – mindful of the mental and emotional abuse the condition offers to the client) can have for a client suffering with an acneic condition. These findings don’t surprise me – but we should do more for our clients – don’t be mediocre when it comes to this topic, you can really make a difference!

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