BACKGROUND: Although acne is extremely prevalent, few studies have focused on what the patient with acne vulgaris experiences. Furthermore, despite recent advances in the accurate measurement of health outcomes, few studies have discussed the influence of acne on discrete aspects of patients' experiences such as their quality of life. OBJECT: To determine the influence of acne vulgaris on the quality of life of adult dermatology outpatients, we performed cross-sectional and longitudinal questionnaire study. METHOD: Sixty patients with acne vulgaris attending appointments with their dermatologists. Findings using Skindex, a validated 29-item instrument to measure the effects of skin disease on patients' quality of life. Results are reported as 3 scale scores (functioning, emotions, and symptoms) and a composite score (average scale score). In addition, dermatologists rated the clinical severity of patients' skin disease. Higher Skindex scores indicate greater effects on quality of life. RESULTS: Patients with acne experienced functioning and emotional effects from their skin disease comparable with those of patients with psoriasis, but experienced fewer symptoms (for patients with acne and psoriasis, respectively, Skindex functioning scores of 14.9 and 22.8 [p=0.08]; emotion scores, 39.2 and 38.9 [p=0.95]; and symptoms scores, 29.5 and 42.1 [p<0.05]). Skindex scores were higher in older patients than in younger patients, and patients aged 40 years or older were less likely to report improvement in their acne after 3 months (43% vs 85%; p<0.05). Among patients reporting no improvement in their acne, older patients reported greater effects of their acne on their quality of life. Furthermore, in multivariate analyses, older adults reported more effects of acne on their quality of life than younger adults, even after controlling for sex and acne severity as judged by the dermatologist. CONCLUSIONS: Acne vulgaris significantly affects patients' quality of life. Sex, age, severity of acne and duration of acne can effect on quality of life of acne patients.
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