In a surprise to no one whose painfully pimple-ridden face has ever sent them into a downward spiral of self-loathing, a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology just confirmed what so many severe acne sufferers have long known to be true: Living with the total drag of a skin condition can put you at a significantly higher risk of depression.
The New York Times reports that researchers spent 15 years following 134,427 men and women with acne and 1,731,608 without, most of whom were under the age of 19 at the start of the study. Over the course of a decade and a half, the research showed that patients with acne were a whopping 63% more likely to be diagnosed with major depression in the first year after developing acne when compared to their clearer-skinned counterparts.
On a more positive note, scientists found that the increased risk for depression only stands for the first five years after an acne diagnosis, which we take to mean that patients either saw significant improvements in their skin within that time frame or just got used to it. Comforting!
The results of the research maintain that the reasons for the association between acne and a blow to your mental health are unclear, but the link certainly does exist. "It appears that acne is a lot more than just skin deep," says University of Calgary epidemiologist Isabelle A. Valerand, the lead author of the study, who notes that she was "surprised" by the findings. "It can have a substantial impact on overall mental health."
This news is a major victory for anyone who's ever been told they were overreacting when they claimed their emotional turmoil was closely related to their breakouts — and that includes you, Salma Hayek. Validation at last.