It did not matter how severe or what kind of blemish she had, whether it was a case of severe acne, a noticeable facial scar or pronounced dark spots covering the face.
"The women who used foundations to cover these kinds of marks reported having a lower health-related quality of life than did the women who didn't wear the same kind of makeup," said Rajesh Balkrishnan, the study's lead author and the Merrell Dow professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.
While it may seem obvious that anyone with a severe blemish on their face contends with psychological issues, until this study, no one had systematically evaluated how such blemishes affect women psychologically, said Balkrishnan.
"Though they may not have much effect on physical health, severe facial marks may have a significant impact on self-image and over time, that could adversely affect a woman's health," he said. "In this case the psychological impact often outweighs the physical aspects of the problem the women in our study reported having more problems with social and sexual functioning than with physical functioning."
The study appears in a recent issue of the International Journal of Dermatology.
Of the 73 women in the study, 66 used what Balkrishnan calls "corrective cosmetics" while seven did not. Corrective cosmetics are skin-colored foundations meant to conceal serious blemishes. It's not the kind of makeup that would typically be found in the cosmetics aisle of a drug store, and a dermatologist usually recommends these foundations to her patient.
"The women who used foundation to cover blemishes may have had a tougher time psychologically dealing with their blemishes than did the women who didn't use corrective makeup," Balkrishnan said. "Although it's difficult to say why this is, it may be that the women who didn't wear make
Contact: Rajesh Balkrishnan
Ohio State University