12/11/2010 10:21 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Severe Acne May Lead To Serious Depression

Around 20% of adult women are thought to be suffering from acne - a condition that, if you have the severe form, can be incredibly disfiguring and debilitating. So no wonder those who suffer from it are prone to depression.

But earlier this year a Norwegian study suggested people who had the most severe acne were two to three times more likely to suffer not just from depression but also suicidal thoughts. And a new report, written by Swedish scientists, confirms much the same.

A key debate, however, has been whether or not the acne itself causes depression or whether taking an acne drug called isotretinoin has a negative psychological effect on some people. A couple of years ago, for instance, Canadian scientists suggested taking isotretinoin might double your risk of developing depression.

The latest study from Sweden, published in the British Medical Journal, claims the drug may not be to blame - which is, at least, some reassurance for anyone taking it, especially since isotretinoin is thought to be effective in cases of severe acne where other treatments aren't.

According to the scientists from the Stockholm-based Karolinska Institute, the most likely explanation for the increased risk of depression is the acne itself. And as a result, they suggest, people with severe acne should be carefully monitored.

New treatments on the horizon for acne include the acne patch. However, if your acne is mild, there are natural remedies that may help.

Do you suffer from adult acne? Have you taken isotretinoin - and if so, did it affect you psychologically?

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