In patients with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick phototypes III-VI), acne is often accompanied by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Further, acne-related pigmentation can pose a greater concern for the patient than the acne lesions. There has been little formal study of this acne-related PIH. Recently, the Asian Acne Board - an international group of dermatologists with interest in acne research - made a preliminary evaluation of the frequency and characteristics of PIH in seven Asian countries. A total of 324 sequential acne subjects were evaluated for the presence of PIH. The majority (80.2%) of subjects had mild to moderate acne and there were more females than males (63.0% vs 37.0%). In this population of patients consulting a dermatologist for acne, 58.2% (188/324) had PIH. The results also showed that pigmentation problems are often long lasting: at least 1 year for more than half of subjects and 5 years or longer in 22.3%. In accordance with our clinical experience, patients reported that PIH is quite bothersome, often as bothersome or more so than the acne itself and sometimes more problematic. Excoriation was commonly reported by patients, and may represent a modifiable risk factor that could potentially be improved by patient education.
AIM: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of facial acne and its impact on the quality of life among adolescents attending secondary schools in Muar, Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted where 409 samples were selected using stratified cluster random sampling from two secondary schools in Muar, involving Form 1 to Form 5 students. Students were diagnosed clinically and the severity of facial acne was assessed using Global Acne Grading System. A self-reported Cardiff Acne Disability Index was used to assess the quality of life among adolescents who had acne.
RESULTS: The prevalence of facial acne among the adolescents was 67.5% (n = 276). Facial acne increased with increasing age (p = 0.001). It was more common among males (71.1%) than females (64.6%), p = 0.165. The males also had a higher prevalence of severe acne (p = 0.001). The quality of life was affected by the severity of acne. Students with severe acne had higher levels of Cardiff Acne Disability Index (rho = 0.521).
CONCLUSION: Facial acne is a common disorder and appears to have a considerable impact on quality of life among adolescents. The above findings should alert health care professionals and the school authorities to actively identify, manage and educate adolescents with facial acne.