Acne can affect personal appearance and impair quality of life. A cross sectional study, over a period of 12 months was conducted among medical students at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to evaluate the disability, self management and help-seeking behaviour of medical students for acne. A total of 361 students were selected using stratified cluster random sampling. Acne was graded using the Comprehensive Acne Severity Score (CASS) while acne disability was assessed using the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI). Acne self management and helpseeking behaviour was assessed using the acne management questionnaire. Mean CADI score was 3.35 + 2.39, with mostly mild (83.8%, n=206) and moderate (14.6%, n=36) levels of impairment. Female students and those from the nonMalay ethnic group demonstrated higher disability (3.76 + 2.24, p=0.006 and 3.79 + 2.59, p=0.018, respectively). Although the majority of students (87.4%, n=215) knew that acne can be treated, they preferred to discuss their acne problems with friends (54.1%, n=133) rather than consulting a physician (9.3%, n=23). Most of them also practiced non-evidence based measures for their acne. The results of the present study shows that young adults tend to have mild grades of acne severity and disability. However, efforts are needed to enhance their knowledge on evidence based management of acne and modify their help seeking behavior. This would help reduce complications such as permanent scars and improve quality of life, as acne is a treatable dermatological disorder.
Keywords: acne vulgaris, medical, disability, quality of life, students, severity, self care