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High Prevalence and Low Level of Acne Perception Among Chinese Adolescents
Many studies have been designed to investigate the effect of acne on the quality of life among adolescents and the related risk factors, but few have been undertaken to research perceives of acne which affect acne prevalence directly, psychosocial burden indirectly.
By Shao Wei Cheng
Nov. 5, 2015

In a recent paper by author Jianchun Hao et al., the perception and current status of acne among Chinese adolescents were investigated. They found that almost half the teenagers with acne did not undergo any treatment, and only 16.8% were treated by doctors, whereas an interesting conflict was that most teenagers believed acne should be treated by doctors. They called this phenomenon a "knowledge–behavior gap", as increases in knowledge without an intention of, or actual, improvement in behavior. Meanwhile, they concluded other potential reason: "the lack of family doctors in China; Adolescents with acne should see a dermatologist in a large hospital, which might be intimidating; A heavy scholastic burden might be another reason for students preferring to buy OTC medicine rather than counseling with doctors".

In this study, adolescents most frequently obtained general information on acne from parents. The authors concluded that the reason might be the difficulty of seeing dermatologists and the lack of family doctors in China. Furthermore, dermatologists might fail to provide health education about acne because of heavy clinical loads, suggesting that it is necessary for parents to have a high level of acne knowledge. At the same time, more health education about acne should be provided in school, as teachers and school physicians—who are also close to the adolescents.

"Young people with acne had particular difficulties in the areas of emotional and conduct disorders" said by Smithard A, through a community-based study in U.K.. Dr. Hao found the similar results that over half the adolescents experienced a psychological impact from acne, however, some were unaware of the harm of acne or believed no harm could ensue from acne, especially boys and younger teenagers, thus did not worry about it. We theorized that this was because of their low level of knowledge about acne rather than having the correct knowledge about acne, just as an old Chinese saying says: "Knowing nothing, fearing nothing."

High acne prevalence (54.7%) existed in Chinese adolescents, but the number treated and efficacy of treatment were not satisfactory, which may be related to the poor perception of acne among this group, and thus health education about acne should be popularized greatly among adolescents, but also their parents and teachers who are closest to them.

A total of 858 students aged 12–18 years in this study were asked to complete a self- administered questionnaire.

Jianchun Hao, Department of Dermatology, Beijing Chuiyangliu Hospital, 2 Chuiyangliu South Road, Beijing 100022, China.
Yan Yu, Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing Chuiyangliu Hospital, 2 Chuiyangliu South Road, Beijing100022, China.
Shaowei Cheng, the corresponding author, Department of Dermatology, Beijing Chuiyangliu Hospital, 2 Chuiyangliu South Road, Beijing 100022, China.

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