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Study exposes societal stigma and misconceptions about pimples

Pimples has been a source of distress for generations, primarily since it often develops on affected individuals’ faces and might often be perceived as the results of poor hygiene. In consequence, many individuals with pimples struggle with poor self-esteem, which may have detrimental effects on their mental health.



A brand new study recently published in JAMA Dermatology discusses the several stereotypes related to pimples and the degree to which society harbors negative viewpoints towards individuals with this skin condition.

Study: Evaluation of stigma toward individuals with pimples. Image Credit: Latest Africa / Shutterstock.com

Concerning the study

The scientists conducted an online survey that included 4 portraits of adults that were digitally touched up, which led to a final total of 12 portraits. These portraits represented each women and men of sunshine and dark skin tones with mild or severe pimples, along with the unique portraits that were acne-free.

The improved portraits were then shownrandomlym to a convenience sample of adult society as represented by survey respondents recruited from the ResearchMatch online platform. Just one portrait was presented to every participant, whowase then asked to reply questions regarding their attitudes towards the person in the image.

What did the study show?

About 1,360 respondents accomplished all the questionnaire. These study participants had a mean age of 42 years, 68% of whom were female. Many of the study cohort were White and had high levels of education.

Over 25% of the respondents agreed that pimples was a purely cosmetic problem. This opinion is in stark contrast to that of healthcare managers, who occasionally refuse to cover pimples treatment on the idea that it will not be a medical issue. This is an important remark that the broader medical community should consider, because the findings of this study reveal that pimples is socially stigmatized, thereby impacting a wide selection of social interactions and even economic opportunities.

Most respondents said that pimples was not only an adolescent issue. Nonetheless, over 75% of respondents believed that pimples resolves independently.

The present study reveals that pimples stays a source of social aversion directed toward the victim, particularly amongst those with darker skin tones. This has been reported in several previously published studies for a wide range of skin conditions. Most participants reported wanting to maintain a greater social distance from individuals with pimples. Furthermore, these individuals were less prone to be comfortable being friends with someone who had severe pimples as in comparison with an individual without pimples. This prolonged to not hiring, having physical contact with, dating, and including individuals with severe pimples in photos posted online.

Individuals with severe pimples were at a greater risk of being adjudged dirty, silly, unlovely, immature, and unreliable and would find it tougher to be liked by others. This desire to distance oneself socially and the tendency to stereotype the acne-prone individual was stronger if the affected person was of a darker skin tone; nonetheless, the sex of the person didn’t produce any obvious effect.

Participants who currently or once had pimples had less unfavorable attitudes towards pimples victims. Interestingly, the bias against those with pimples prolonged across race, sex, ethnic origin, and occupation, was it was even reported amongst healthcare employees.

What are the implications?

Stigmatizing attitudes toward patients with pimples existed across a wide range of social and skilled scenarios.”

The stigmatization of pimples significantly affects the each day lives of affected people, thereby limiting their ability to form meaningful relationships, find jobs, and earn respect. The increased intensity of those effects amongst those with darker skin ought to be studied to discover the source of such discriminatory findings, whether in racism or because pimples is in a different way caused and manifested amongst dark-skinned.

The study findings emphasize the urgent need for future studies to explore how communities can change views that pimples is the victim’s fault while also providing pimples care to forestall such effects by removing the lesions.

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