First acne education program for Canadian teens

By Pacific Derm on August 15 2018

Program shows positive improvements in teens after one month

VANCOUVER, Aug. 15, 2018 – The Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada has just launched “Skin Confident“, a 1-hour, healthy skin and acne education program for Canadian high school students with proven, positive results.

Dr. Jason Rivers, President of the Society, commented that “There is a lot of miscommunication about the causes and management of acne. This program is a welcome addition to help teenagers learn how to manage and cope with this skin condition.”

Skin Confident

In a recent study (1), Skin Confident was shown after one month to bring about improvements in acne-related self-perception, social and emotional well-being and acne symptoms in teens. The program is freely available for teachers, school nurses and anyone interested in presenting it to high school students via the not for profit society’s website.

“It appears there is no formal teaching about acne at high schools despite the fact that about 90% of students have it,” says Dr. Shannon Humphrey, a Vancouver dermatologist and spokesperson for the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. “This is particularly concerning since acne has been shown to affect self-esteem and may cause significant emotional distress,” added Dr. Humphrey, co-developer of the program.

Skin Confident

Skin Confident gives us an opportunity to provide teens with scientific, independent information to help with this common condition and its emotional effects,” she said.

Aside from acne, Skin Confident covers the biology of the skin, skin care and self-esteem as it relates to acne. The program is aimed at students in grades 10 and 11 but can be shown to any high school grade.

“We are hoping physical education teachers in particular, many of whom now have an added role to provide health education, will be among the top users of the program,” Dr. Humphrey said. Educators and health personnel are encouraged to present the program.

Developed by Dr. Angela Burleigh, resident physician, and Dr. Humphrey, the fully scripted program is available in English and French.

A search for similar high school acne education programs worldwide did not turn up any results, pointing to Skin Confident as the first program of its kind in the world.

Skin Confident

Citation (1):
Burleigh A, Yousefi M, Humphrey S, Skin Confident: A skin health and acne educational intervention to improve Acne Quality of Life measures in adolescents, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2018.06.052.

About the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada:

The society, a national, not for profit organization, offers hope and help to those with acne by providing independent, reputable and current information and raising awareness. For more, visit

Acne Awareness Month, September 2018 was designated by the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada / La Société canadienne de l’acné et de la rosacée to raise awareness about acne, a common skin condition affecting 5 million Canadians that can cause significant physical and emotional effects.