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Study finds acne a risk to health

People who suffer from acne often have a poorer quality of life and will be more prone to developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, according to research.

A study by the University of Bath claims those with acne are less likely to participate in sport or excel at physical games due to shyness or "dermatological social anxiety".

Tom Loney, the Bath PhD student behind the project, explained: "It is well known that reduced levels of physical activity can increase the risk of developing serious conditions such as heart disease."

The research, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, claims dermatological social anxiety is often overlooked in studies on motivation for sport and exercise in favour of more physical aspects and inhibitions.

Dr Martyn Standage, lecturer in the university's School for Health, said: "The skin is the most visible organ in the human body and, as such, is an important part of personal image.

"Fear of having one's skin evaluated by others has implications for physical and social wellbeing.

"Sport and exercise activities provide many opportunities for the skin to be exposed to evaluation.

"Due to this, acne sufferers may become so anxious about their appearance that it prevents them from participating in physical activity."

Journal of Health Psychology

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