Acne in Victorian adolescents: Associations with age, gender, puberty and psychiatric symptoms

Authors


  • M Kilkenny, G Dip (Epidemiol & Biostats), Research Fellow. V Stathakis, G Dip (Epidemiol & Biostats), Research Assistant. M Hibbert, PhD, Head. G Patton, BSc(Hons) Senior Lecturer. G Bowes, PhD, Professor/Director.

M Kilkenny, University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine (Dermatology), St Vincent's Hospital, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia.

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to examine the associations between the frequency and severity of self-reported acne and age, gender, puberty and psychiatric symptoms in Victorian adolescents.

Methodology: A sample of secondary schoolchildren in Victoria, Australia were surveyed using a computerized questionnaire. Developmental and psycho-social factors associated with acne were recorded and analysed using logistic regression.

Results: The Victorian Adolescent Health Survey (1992) recorded the frequency and severity of self-reported acne in 2491 students. Frequency of acne increased with age and pubertal development. For females commencement of menstruation was associated with increased frequency of acne. Asian born male students were less likely to report acne than Australian born males. Acne severity was coded into mild (students reporting acne sometimes on back or face) and moderate (students reporting acne often on face or back). Students reporting moderate acne were more likely to report a high level of psychiatric symptoms and were in the later stages of puberty.

Conclusions: This study confirms an association between the frequency and severity of self-reported acne and stage of pubertal development. It showed also that students reporting moderate acne were more likely to report psychiatric symptoms of depression and anxiety.

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