They may strike back at society in a vengeful manner: preventing the psychological scars of acne in post-war America

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In 2013, San Diego based physician Dr Richard M. Timms published a study entitled: “Moderate acne as a potential barrier to social relationships: Myth or reality”. Timms divided his 143 participants into two groups: one set were shown pictures of clear skinned models whilst the other was shown photographs of models with facial acne. Asked to guess the age of the models and rate them on a scale of sixteen personality items, the volunteers shown the clear skinned models believed them to be both older and more mature than the models suffering from acne. Moreover, the participants claimed they were more likely to be friends with and attracted to those with clear skin. Timms concluded that ‘moderate acne vulgaris could be a potential barrier to social relationships for young people not simply because of their social anxiety but because they may well be meeting with prejudice’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPreventing Mental Illness
Subtitle of host publicationPast, Present and Future
EditorsDespo Kritsotaki, Vicky Long, Matthew Smith
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages25
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameMental Health in Historical Perspective
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • acne
  • anxiety
  • adolescent medicine
  • America

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