Acne and Mental Health

acne and mental health

Acne and Mental Health

by Daniella Epstein, CHC and Elena Klimenko, MD, IFMCP

Imagine a woman. A beautiful woman with deep, soulful eyes and a sparkling smile. Over some time, you notice her shoulders start to slump, her eyes seem to have a sadness inside them, and her smile doesn’t seem as bright. She still is the beautiful person you know and love, but she doesn’t look like she believes that. Her skin is red, and she has a significant amount of acne on her face. Her hair is dull and thin, and she doesn’t seem to walk with that same happy energy that she used to. She doesn’t look you in the eye anymore and never likes to see her reflection in a mirror or picture. She always has an excuse why she can’t come out tonight.

Acne can severely impact mental health. Due to acne being so prevalent, there is often a dismissive attitude toward the internal struggle one with acne can be dealing with. The burden of this condition on one’s life and mental status can be a heavy one, very difficult to deal with, and can severely affect the quality of life (1). Acne can have a truly significant impact on mental health, with the potential to affect self-esteem, cause depression, anxiety, impair social interactions, and even cause suicide (2).

It is important to be aware of the emotional hardship that acne can bring and provide extra attention to those suffering from this complex condition.

Functional medicine treatment of acne requires an integrative understanding of deeper than skin issues. The reasons for unhealthy skin are complex and can involve an imbalance of the digestive system, hormonal, detoxification, and even immune systems. The proper look at your history and test results by a certified functional medicine physician will help you to understand the holistic nature of this condition and take a deeper than skin dive into your health.

The “Deeper Than Skin” Program, offered at our office, will address acne from the Functional Medicine perspective, along with the awareness and support needed for the inner and emotional healing that is truly important in this process. Functional Medicine physician Elena Klimenko, MD in collaboration with Daniella Epstein, Certified Health Coach and Social Worker, to support patients on the healing journey and ensure the mental health component does not go unchecked. The program aims to address the root cause of your acne, support you through the implementation of relevant lifestyle changes, and provide the guidance and love to facilitate your healing both inside and out.

If you would like to get more information about acne preventative treatment or to schedule an integrative medicine consultation, please contact us.




Franz, Rachel. “New Study Links Mild Acne to Depression, Suicide in Young people”. Dermatology Nursing, Dec. 1998, p438. Health Reference Center Academic,

Gallitano, S., & Berson, D. (2018). How Acne Bumps Cause the Blues: The Influence of Acne Vulgaris on Self-Esteem. International Journal of Womens Dermatology, 4(1), 12-17. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2017.10.004

Hull, Peter R. et. al.  Acne, Depression, and Suicide. Dermatologic Clinics, Volume 23, Issue 4, 665 – 674

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