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Photos: New Image Survey Reveals 'Perception Is Reality' When It Comes to Teenagers With Acne
Date:6/11/2009

DIGITAL SIMULATION OF ACNE ON CLEAR-SKINNED TEENS REVEALS STARTLING TRUTHS

PALM COAST, Fla., June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In today's image-obsessed society where millions of photos are uploaded daily through digital networks such as Facebook and Flickr, how much of an impact can a common skin condition like acne have on the life of teens? Based on first impressions, teens with acne are perceived to have different personality and social traits than if they had clear skin, according to results of a new online perception survey sponsored by the American Acne & Rosacea Society (AARS), and co-authored by Dr. Eva Ritvo, psychiatrist and co-author of The Beauty Prescription.(1) The survey asked thousands of teens and adults to offer their impressions of a group of teens based solely on photos of their faces - with clear skin or digitally enhanced to simulate acne. The results, which are being released to mark the first-ever National Acne Awareness Month, also expose the significant lengths that teens with acne would go to if it meant they could get rid of their acne forever.(1a)

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/galderma/38432/

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090611/NY30779 )

Seeing is Believing

According to the survey, teens with acne are more likely than teens without acne to be perceived by their peers as shy (39% vs. 27%), nerdy (31% vs. 17%) and lonely (23% vs. 13%).(1b) Teens with acne are also less likely than their clear-skinned counterparts to be seen as leaders (29% vs. 49%) rather than followers.(1c) In contrast, teens with clear skin are more commonly perceived as self-confident (42% vs. 25%), happy (50% vs. 35%), fun (40% vs. 28%) and intelligent (44% vs. 38%), compared to teens with acne.(1d)

The survey also found that teens aren't the only ones that form a first impression based on acne. According to the survey, American adults believe that more than half (56%) of teens with acne are likely to be bullied, compared to 29 percent of teens without acne.(1e) When it comes to dating, adults assumed that on an average weekend, teens with acne are more likely to stay at home with their parents than go out on a date, compared to teens with clear skin (58% vs. 36%).(1f)

What Teens Would Do for Clear Skin

When asked about their own acne, American teens admit the lengths they would go to if they could get rid of the condition forever, such as staying off of Facebook for one year (59%), not going on a date for one year (30%), taking their mom or dad as their date to prom (13%) and having their grade-point average drop (11%).(1g)

"The eye-opening results of this survey demonstrate that acne plays a key role in how society forms a first impression of teens based on appearance alone. The stigma of acne should not be overlooked -- parents can help diminish its emotional and social impact on teens by talking to the doctor about treatment," said Dr. James Del Rosso, President, American Acne & Rosacea Society. "The goal of National Acne Awareness Month is to educate parents and teens that acne is a medical condition. By treating the root cause with prescription medication, teens can achieve clearer skin and take more control of those important first impressions."

"Now more than ever, it's important that parents take the time to monitor and help improve their teen's self-esteem, as confidence plays a major role in their ability to successfully navigate these turbulent adolescent years. For teens, how others view them on the outside hugely impacts how they feel about themselves on the inside," said author Dr. Eva Ritvo, who also serves as Vice Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. "While there are multiple factors that can affect a teen's confidence, thankfully acne is one thing that mom and dad can easily do something about."

Acne Awareness Month Educational Resources

The AARS has declared June the inaugural National Acne Awareness Month to help teenagers and their parents understand that acne is a medical condition that can be treated with help from a physician. Teens and adults alike are encouraged to visit www.acnesociety.org for more information on the causes of acne and how it can be treated.

About Acne

Acne vulgaris is one of the most widely experienced chronic skin diseases. In recent years, research has lead to a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.(2) The disorder begins with the onset of puberty and is thought to result from hormonal action on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) leading to plugged pores and outbreaks.(3) It can be challenging to manage due to the variability in response to treatment and the need for long-term therapy.(4)

About American Acne & Rosacea Society

The American Acne & Rosacea Society (AARS), founded in 2005, provides a forum for the exchange of information about acne and rosacea, as well as the promotion of research into these two skin diseases. Its mission is to address the need to bring clarity to the millions of Americans who are suffering from acne and/or rosacea and who are not receiving adequate treatment.

For more information visit, www.acnesociety.org. This educational initiative was supported by Galderma Laboratories, L.P.

About the Survey

Kelton Research conducted two separate national online surveys, one with a sample of 1,002 nationally representative adults age 18+ and one with a sample of N=1,006 teens age 13-17. Both groups took the survey which was fielded between April 10th and April 24th, 2009. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of each audience.

As part of the survey, each respondent answered questions about several pictures of people with or without acne. The total amount of visual stimuli used in the survey consisted of 12 pictures - based on a 2 x 3 x 2 exposure model (gender x race x acne/clear). Each respondent reacted to 3 randomly selected pictures, with the only condition being that it was a combination of either (a) 1 clear and 2 acne pictures or (b) 2 clear and one acne picture.

This design allowed the respondents to focus in-depth on specific stimuli and kept the survey at a reasonable length. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. The overall margin of error for each group in this study (teens and adults) is +/-3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Margins for subgroups are slightly higher.

(1) American Acne & Rosacea Society/Dr. Eva Ritvo Teen Perception Study, Conducted by Kelton Research, 2009.

(2) Gollnick H, Cunliffe WJ, Berson D et al. Management of Acne: A Report From a Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003; 49(1):S1-S37.

(3) Why Do I Get Acne? Nemours Foundation. http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/skin_stuff/acne.html.

(4) Thiboutot D, Pariser DM, Egan N et al. Adapalene gel 0.3% for the treatment of acne vulgaris: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006; 54:242-50.


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SOURCE American Acne & Rosacea Society
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