Acne may prevent people from participating in sport and exercise, says research

Feb 25, 2008

Acne patients who are highly anxious about their skin condition say they are less likely to participate in sport or exercise, according to new research at the University of Bath (UK).

The study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, involved 50 young to middle-aged adults recruited from a national acne support group.

As well as saying that they were less likely to participate in sport or exercise, acne sufferers who perceived their skin to be negatively evaluated by others also experienced lower self-esteem and a poorer quality of life. This pattern was similar in both men and women.

The researchers say that ‘dermatological social anxiety’ is often overlooked in studies on motivation for sport and exercise in favour of physical inhibitions.

“The skin is the most visible organ in the human body and, as such, is an important part of personal image,” said Dr Martyn Standage, a lecturer in the School for Health at the University of Bath.

“Fear of having one’s skin evaluated by others has implications for physical and social wellbeing.

“Sport and exercise activities provide many opportunities for the skin to be exposed to evaluation.

“Due to this, acne sufferers may become so anxious about their appearance that it prevents them from participating in physical activity.”

Tom Loney, the Bath PhD student who worked on the project, said: “It is well known that reduced levels of physical activity can increase the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.”

Mrs Alison Bowser, Acne Patient spokesperson, said: “Acne is usually a very treatable condition, but requires persistence and determination to find successful treatments.

“Untreated acne may lead to scarring and embarrassment, which in turn by lead to an avoidance of daily activities such as sport.”

The results of the study will help develop new ways to encourage acne sufferers to stay more physically active.

Source: University of Bath

Explore further: Subconscious learning shapes pain responses

Related Stories

Europe's bathing waters cleaner, says Brussels

2 hours ago

European beach and river bathing sites have cleaned up their acts, with 95 percent now meeting water quality standards in time for the summer holiday season, the EU said Wednesday.

New antibody insecticide targets malaria mosquito

3 hours ago

Malaria is a cruel and disabling disease that targets victims of all ages. Even now, it is estimated to kill one child every minute. Recent progress in halting the spread of the disease has hinged on the ...

Galaxy's snacking habits revealed

3 hours ago

A team of Australian and Spanish astronomers have caught a greedy galaxy gobbling on its neighbours and leaving crumbs of evidence about its dietary past.

Recommended for you

Subconscious learning shapes pain responses

5 hours ago

In a new study led from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, researchers report that people can be conditioned to associate images with particular pain responses – such as improved tolerance to pain – even ...

All sounds made equal in melancholy

7 hours ago

The room is loud with chatter. Glasses clink. Soft music, perhaps light jazz or strings, fills the air. Amidst all of these background sounds, it can be difficult to understand what an adjacent person is ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.