Skin Imperfections Affect Women's Self-confidence More Than Men's, According to Survey

Merz skin care brand Mederma announced the results of its second Mederma Wear Your Skin Proudly survey, conducted by Harris Interactive. The study revealed men and women have very different views when it comes to skin imperfections and their impact on self-confidence.

Specifically, the survey found that most U.S. men and women aged 18 and older (67%) are generally happy with their physical appearance; however, 44% of women felt that improving the appearance of their skin imperfections such as scars and stretch marks, would help improve their overall self-confidence, compared with only 25% of men. These findings are similar to sentiments expressed by U.S. women when the survey was originally commissioned in 2010, indicating that attitudes toward appearance and self-confidence remain largely unchanged.

"Even among men and women who are happy with their overall appearance, visible scars and stretch marks can have a negative impact on their self-confidence," said body image expert Robyn Silverman , PhD. "This is especially true among women."

Survey results further showed that men and women differed greatly about the extent to which their scars and stretch marks affect how they feel about themselves. Women in particular are more self-conscious about the appearance of their scars and stretch marks, with 33% reporting that their scars and stretch marks negatively affect their self-confidence, while only 19% of men feel this way. Additionally, 47% of women surveyed aged 18 and older have tried to hide their scar(s) and/or stretch marks from others, compared with only 23% of men.

Low self-confidence related to skin imperfections can also impact other areas of women's lives. "In the Mederma Wear Your Skin Proudly survey, 34% of women reported that their scar(s) and/or stretch marks would make them feel self-conscious during intimate moments with their partner, compared to only 20% of men," said Dr. Silverman.

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