Up to 20% of Patients with Acne also Suffer from Social and Psychological Problems

· Acne affects approximately 9.4% of the global population, with 20% of those affected suffering from moderate to severe acne.2,3

· Severe acne is often associated with increased depression, anxiety, poor self-image and reduced self-esteem.4,5 Acne can interfere with school life and can negatively impact employment opportunities, social interaction and participation.6

· Acne is one of the most frequent skin diseases and therefore it is one of the most commonly treated by dermatologists.7

· This disease affects between 50-95% of teenagers while in adulthood it is more prevalent in women, who account for over 80% of adult acne.8,9,10

Up to 20% of Patients with Acne also Suffer from Social and Psychological Problems

Acne is a polymorphic inflammatory skin disease, one of the most frequent skin conditions and one of the most common disorders treated by dermatologists.7

Although acne in itself is a well-known dermatological disease, Almirall, the global pharmaceutical company based in Barcelona, is keen to help understand and create further awareness of the disease to support those who suffer from it by shedding light on the emotional and psychological impact the condition may generate.

As part of the project “Derma Stories”, with the main objective of bringing society closer to patients and families who suffer from dermatological conditions, Almirall launched the second “Derma Story”: ‘Carlos, Pizza Face’ in September 2016. The story of a mother who writes to her son’s teacher because she is worried about the high emotional and social impact acne is having on him at school. This project fell within the global “Shared Skin Initiative” campaign, recognized with a Silver Lion Award at the Cannes Lions Festival.

Acne is most common in developed countries and usually begins with the onset of puberty. The disease primarily affects people between the ages of 12 and 24.8 lt is estimated to affect 50-95% of teenagers. It usually subsides after the end of growth but acne can at times persist until adulthood with a higher prevalence in women ; more than 80% of the adult population affected are women.<sup8,9,10

The Impact of Acne on Quality of Life

Studies show that up to 20% of patients with acne also suffer from psychological and social problems1 leading to quality of life impairment. However serious the acne may be, whether it is minor or severe, on the face or on the back, it is often a source of embarrassment for the sufferer. In a society that renders self-image of paramount importance, and affecting young people at their most susceptible age, skin imperfections frequently leave patients with feelings of anxiety, depression, decreased self-esteem and social withdrawal.4 Teasing and bullying is also a significant cause of morbidity.12

It is often said that the relationship between the severity of acne and emotional distress is poorly understood.13 In more severe cases of acne, studies have shown that the skin condition can impair school or work careers and employment opportunities, social interaction and participation,6 and appearances in public. Over 20% of those with acne have thought about or attempted suicide, further highlighting the consequences of acne on mental health.14

About Acne

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a chronic inflammatory polymorphic skin condition characterized by the presence of open comedos (blackheads) or/and closed comedos (whiteheads). These lesions may be accompanied by inflammatory papules and pustules or deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) in severe cases. Severe acne may lead to scarring due to either a loss or overproduction of collagen. Acne most commonly affects the face (99% of cases), back (60%), or chest (15%) as well as other parts of the body less frequently such as the neck, shoulders or arms.15,16,17

The clinical picture of acne embraces a spectrum of signs, ranging from mild comedonal acne, with or without sparse inflammatory lesions (IL), to aggressive fulminate disease with deep-seated inflammation, nodules and in some cases associated systemic symptoms.12

It is triggered in children by the initiation of androgen production by the adrenal glands and gonads. Early intervention and treatment can help to prevent or reduce the appearance of acne scars18.

About Almirall

Almirall is a global company based in Barcelona dedicated to providing valuable medicines and medical devices through its R&D, agreements and alliances. Our work covers the whole of the drug value chain. A consolidated growth allows us to devote our talent and efforts towards specialty areas and particularly to further grow as a leading Dermatology player. We are a specialist company, enabling us to accomplish the purpose of providing our innovative products wherever they are needed.

Founded in 1943, Almirall is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange (ticker: ALM) and it has become a source of value creation for society due to its vision, and the commitment of its long-standing major shareholders. In 2015, Almirall revenues totaled 769 million euros and, with 1,800 employees, it has become a trusted presence across Europe, as well as in the US.


For more information, please visit  www.almirall.com.




1. Revol O1, Milliez N1, Gerard D1. Psychological impact of acne on 21st-century adolescents: decoding for better care. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Jul;172 Suppl 1:52-8.

2. Vos, T; Flaxman, AD (December 2012). “Years lived with disability (YLDs) for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990–2010: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010”. The Lancet 380 (9859): 2163–96. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61729-2. PMID 23245607.

3. Bhate, K; Williams, HC (March 2013). “Epidemiology of acne vulgaris”. The British Journal of Dermatology (Review) 168 (3): 474–85.doi:10.1111/bjd.12149. PMID 23210645.

4. Arnold L. Dermatology. In: Levenson JL, ed. American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc; 2005:629-646.

5. Arnold L. Dermatology. In: Levenson JL, ed. Essentials of Psychosomatic Medicine. Arlington, VA:  American Psychiatric Publishing Inc;2007:629-646.

6. Acne Vulgaris:The Psychosocial & Psychological Burden Of Illness by Richard G. Fried, MD, PhD. Volume 21 – Issue 9 – September 2013

7. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. 2016 by the American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier, Inc.

8. Bhate K, Williams HC. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2013 Mar;168(3):474-85.

9. http://skinhealth.workswithwater.co.uk  Last accessed September 2017

10. Sánchez Viera M. Management of acne scars: fulfilling our duty of care for patients. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Jan 17.

11. Revol O1, Milliez N1, Gerard D1. Psychological impact of acne on 21st-century adolescents: decoding for better care. Br J Dermatol.2015 Jul;172 Suppl 1:52-8.

12. Nast A, et al. European Dermatology Forum. European evidence-based (S3) guidelines for the treatment of acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Feb;26 Suppl 1:1-29

13. Lowe JG. The stigma of acne. Br J Hosp Med. 1993;49(11):809-812.

14. British Skin Foundation.

15. Acne.org

16. Chen W, et al. Acne-associated syndromes: models for better understanding of acne pathogenesis. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jun;25(6):637-46.

17. Canadian dermatology association  Last accessed September 2017

18. Sánchez Viera M. Management of acne scars: fulfilling our duty of care for patients. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Jan 17.