Kids With Common Skin Conditions Face Stigma, Bullying

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.

Acne, psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, alopecia: Any one of these common skin ailments can render a child vulnerable to stigma and bullying at school, new research confirms.

“These chronic skin conditions can be tremendously life-altering, including shaping psychosocial development,” noted study corresponding author Dr. Amy Paller. She’s chair of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

“These painful experiences can shape a child’s personality into adulthood and erode self-confidence,” Paller added in a Northwestern news release. “Children may underestimate their abilities and worry about taking social risks. They don’t feel good enough, and this shame may affect them lifelong.”

The new study of nearly 1,700 kids over the age of 7 was published in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

Paller’s team used standard psychological scores measuring stigma, depression, anxiety and poor peer relationships among the children involved in the study.

They found that nearly three-quarters (73%) experienced stigma from their skin condition that was severe enough to lower their quality of life. Most of the stigma and bullying they experienced occurred at school, and it could often be cruel.

The findings may apply to many children nationwide: According to the researchers, nearly 10% of school-age kids have eczema, 90% of teens have some form of acne and about 1% of children have psoriasis.

Source: HealthDay

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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