Psychosocial Burden Due to Acne Vulgaris Affects Treatment-Seeking Behavior in Medical Students in Jakarta, Indonesia

Franklind Matthew, Regina Regina, Inneke Jane Hidajat, Melyawati Melyawati


Background: Acne vulgaris (AV) is a chronic inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit of the skin that occurs in 85% of adolescents and can continue into adulthood. The skin of the facial area has an essential role in socializing, therefore, facial AV can contribute to the accumulation of psychosocial stress. The prevalence of individuals with AV seeking treatments is low in some countries. This study aimed to determine the association between psychosocial burdens due to AV and medical treatment-seeking behavior in young adults.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in February 2020 among 100 medical students with AV. The ASEAN Lehmann criteria were used to objectively assessed AV. Psychosocial burden was determined by the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) questionnaire and then classified into unaffected (score 0), mild (score 1-5), moderate (6-10), and severe (11-15). History-related AV was obtained through a questionnaire. The analysis was performed using the chi-square test.

Results: Of the 100 medical students with AV, 82% had suffered from mild to severe psychosocial burdens. The mean score of the CADI was 4.03. However, only 44% of students sought treatment from doctors for their AV. There was a significant association between psychosocial burden and medical treatment-seeking behavior (p = 0.014).

Conclusion: The psychosocial burden of acne vulgaris in young adults is high, however, medical treatment-seeking behavior is low. Therefore, psychosocial management is an essential aspect in treating patients with AV.


Acne vulgaris, CADI, psychosocial burden, treatment-seeking behavior

Full Text:



Zari S, Turkistani A. Acne vulgaris in Jeddah medical students: prevalence, severity, self-report, and treatment practices. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Application. 2017;7(1):67–76.

Raikar DR, Manthale NS. A cross sectional study of self-medication for acne among undergraduate medical students. Int J Res Dermatol. 2018. 25;4(2):211–4.

Jaber RM, Alnshash BM, Mousa SN, Fayoumi HS, Al-Qaderi LM, Zant AM. The epidemiology of acne vulgaris among adolescents and young adults in Jordan University Hospital. Open Journal of Nursing. 2020;10(4):353–66.

Hosthota A, Bondade S, Basavaraja V. Impact of acne vulgaris on quality of life and self-esteem. Cutis. 2016;98(2):121–4.

Kumar S, Singh R, Kaur S, Mahajan BB. Psychosocial impact of acne on quality of life in North India: a hospital-based cross-sectional study. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists. 2016;26(1):35–9.

Alshehri M, Almutairi A, Alomran A, Alrashed B, Kaliyadan F. Over-the-counter and prescription medications for acne: A cross-sectional survey in a sample of university students in Saudi Arabia. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2017;8(2):120–3.

Abdelrazik YT, Ali FM, Salek MS, Finlay AY. Clinical experience and psychometric properties of the Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI). Br J Dermatol. 2021. doi:10.1111/bjd.20391.

Tayel K, Attia M, Agamia N, Fadl N. Acne vulgaris: prevalence, severity, and impact on quality of life and self-esteem among Egyptian adolescents. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2020;95(1):30.

Szepietowski JC, Wolkenstein P, Veraldi S, Tennstedt D, Machovcová A, Delarue A. Acne across Europe: an online survey on perceptions and management of acne. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2018;32(3):463–6.

Picardo M, Eichenfield LF, Tan J. Acne and rosacea. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2017;7(Suppl 1):43–52.

Desai KP, Martyn-Simmons C, Viner R, Segal T. Help-seeking behaviours, opportunistic treatment and psychological implications of adolescent acne: cross-sectional studies in schools and hospital outpatient departments in the UK. BMJ Open. 2017;7(9):e016964.

Tameez-ud-din A, Malik IJ, Bhatti AA, TameezUd Din A, Sadiq A, Khan MT, et al. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding self-medication for acne among medical students. Cureus. 2019;11(8): e5510.

Bajawi S, Salih S, Mahfouz MS, Bajawi N, Asiri B. Acne vulgaris awareness and impact on quality of life and psychological status of adolescent school children in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research. 2016;25(2):374–84.

de Vries F, Tjin E, Driessen R, Vehof H, van de Kerkhof P. Exploring patient journeys through acne healthcare: a patient perspective. J Dermatolog Treat. 2021;1–8. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2021.1940808

Su P, Chen Wee Aw D, Lee SH, Han Sim Toh MP. Beliefs, perceptions and psychosocial impact of acne amongst Singaporean students in tertiary institutions. J Deutsch Dermatol Ges. 2015;13(3):227–33.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 601 times
PDF - 302 times

 This Journal indexed by




Creative Commons License
AMJ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


View My Stats