Background  The factors that impact quality of life in acne patient are not fully understood.

Objective  The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between quality of life with (i) acne severity; (ii) the duration of this cutaneous disease; and (iii) the gender.

Methods  Leeds scale to quantify acne severity, and Assessment of the Psychological and Social Effects of Acne (APSEA) score to evaluate quality of life were used.

An unselected consecutive group of 50 males and 50 females affected by facial acne filled in the APSEA questionnaire during the first visit and after 3 months of treatment.

Results  (i) At the beginning of the treatment, APSEA score correlated with acne severity, but at the end of it, the reduction of APSEA score was less marked than the reduction of acne severity. (ii) Acne duration does not significantly influence APSEA score. (iii) Before treatment, acne severity was comparable between females and males, whereas APSEA score was significantly higher in females than in males.

Conclusion  The quality life of acne patients could be influenced by social and emotional factors.

The discrepancy of the results reported in literature regarding the correlation of the quality of life with acne severity and duration probably depends on the sensitivity and specificity of the questionnaire used to assess the quality of life. Among the different available scores to measure quality of life in acne patients, in the authors’ experience, APSEA score is a valuable one.