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Acne Doubles Suicide Risk in Teens
A recent study funded by the Norwegian Institute for Public Health found that teens that have severe acne are twice as likely to commit suicide as their peers who do not have acne.
For Dr. Marcy Street, a board certified dermatologist in Okemos Michigan, and the country’s first female African American MOHS surgeon in the country, the statistic supported by the study are not surprising. ‘I see this every day in my practice unfortunately. The issue of acne can oftentimes be nearly as debilitating for the patient as someone who has skin cancer in terms of their emotional well-being. It is very common for teens to be ridiculed to the point that they come into my office in tears, looking for any solution that will get rid of the acne so that they don’t have to deal with the taunts they often receive. It’s a tragic set of circumstances and it’s my belief that people in leadership roles who deal with these teens need to make them aware that virtually anyone can have problems with acne and to help them understand how to be more empathetic toward their peers.’
Nearly 25 percent of the teens with "very much" acne said they'd had thoughts of suicide, compared with 11 percent of the study participants overall.
‘As a doctor, when anyone comes into my office seeking treatment, we have to look at the entirety of the individual in order to ensure we are giving that person the best, most comprehensive treatment we can muster. Often, this approach necessitates a level of understanding that the patient may not be receiving before they enter our office and after they leave. This aspect can have enormous benefit toward their treatment, especially when it comes to treatment of acne in teens. The condition often has consequences that go far deeper than just the skin.’
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Dr. Marcy Street, MD is a board-certified, Mayo Clinic-trained dermatologist with nearly 20 years of experience, and is the first fellowship-trained African American female Mohs surgeon in the United States. She is the founder and Medical Director of the Doctor’s Approach family of products and services: Doctor’