Acne is among the top three most common skin conditions globally. Although the condition predominantly affects young adults between 12-25 years (about 85%), adult-onset is increasing.
Most participants (98%) reported that acne had a detrimental impact on some aspect of their emotional well-being (self-confidence or self-esteem) due in part to the reactions of others to their condition. One-half of the respondents felt lonely or isolated, and another half were frustrated that they had no control over their treatment, or the treatment wasn’t working. Adult participants reported similar emotional impacts. Almost all felt that acne negatively affected their self-confidence or self-esteem, made them feel down or depressed, and self-conscious or embarrassed. Adults also reported feeling isolated or lonely.
More than 66% of adolescents and all adult participants reported that acne had an impact on their social activities. They found interacting with strangers was difficult, they felt that people focused on their acne when speaking to them or judged them because of their acne. Some indicated that they avoid socialising when their acne flared up, while others simply did not attend activities if they could not wear makeup.
Both adolescents and adults discussed the time-consuming aspect of acne, having to allow time for their skin care and treatment routine each day. All female participants discussed makeup, a few did not wear cosmetics as they felt it would make their acne worse, others used makeup to cover up their acne and make it less noticeable. Participants would feel anxious or embarrassed, and like people were staring at them. They avoided going out when their acne was at its worst.
Impact on sleep
About 30% of adolescent and 50% of adult participants indicated that acne impacted their sleep. Some indicated that their sleep was interrupted due to pain caused by their acne, while others said itchiness kept them from a peaceful night’s rest. A few participants indicated that worry or depression about their condition made it difficult to sleep.
Impact on school or work
Adolescent participants felt distracted and struggled to do homework or assignments when their acne was severe. A few college students indicated that they contributed less to class activities because of the impact of acne on their self-confidence. Some participants felt that they were picked on or bullied at school, and even did not attend school when their acne was severe. Acne also affected some adults’ work life.
Azelaic acid is a saturated dicarboxylic acid found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. It is also a natural substance that is produced by Malassezia furfur (known as Pityrosporum ovale), a yeast that lives on normal skin. It is a versatile ingredient with many actions: keratolytic, comedolytic, anti-inflammatory and a tyrosinase inhibitor. It helps to reduce inflammation in mild to moderate acne and its keratolytic action exfoliates the skin, reducing the thickness of the stratum corneum while its comedolytic action inhibits the formation of comedones.