Pimples pay off as teens with acne ‘will earn more and get better grades’

1 Stock image It may be time to stop worrying about your teenager’s acne and to start loving it.

New research from two American economists says that the blemishes may be a blessing in disguise, at least in terms of putting those with the condition at the top of their class in terms of grades.

And, if you are a woman, having acne may mean that you earn more.

Given there are nearly 650 million people worldwide who have acne in one form or another, the research from Hugo Mialon of Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Erik Nesson of Ball State University hits the spot.

The two academics were drawn to acne as part of a growing body of study on the impact of looks on success, or the lack of it. They said acne affects up to 68pc of 15 to 19-year-olds.

"We find that having acne is positively associated with overall GPA (grade point average) in high school, grades in high-school English, history, math, and science, and the completion of a college degree," they wrote in a paper titled ‘Do Pimples Pay’.

"We also find evidence that acne is associated with higher personal labour market earnings for women."

They studied US national health surveys of early-to-mid teenagers in 1994-1995 and followed up with three additional waves in 1996, 2001-2002 and 2007-2008.

They noted that the stigma attached to acne was very real, reducing the sufferers’ attractiveness as well as their chances of being socially accepted or participating in sports clubs. That meant teens with acne had more time to study, they said.


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