Women more self-conscious about skin imperfections than men, survey finds

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Men and women have complex and often different views about how their skin imperfections affect their appearance and confidence, according to a new survey.

The "Wear Your Skin Proudly" survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Merz Pharmaceuticals and its Mederma brand, found that 67% of adults were generally happy with their physical appearance, but 44% of women thought improving the appearance of skin imperfections, such as scars and stretch marks, would help improve their overall self-confidence, compared with 25% of men. A survey of women in 2010 revealed similar attitudes. The survey polled 2,083 adults between Nov. 15 and 19.

"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," body image expert Robyn Silverman said. "This is especially true among women."

According to the survey, women in particular were more self-conscious about the appearance of scars and stretch marks, with 33% reporting that they adversely affected self-confidence, while only 19% of men had the same feelings. Meanwhile, 47% of women have tried to hide such marks, compared with 23% of men.

"In the 'Mederma Wear Your Skin Proudly' survey, 34% of women reported that their scars and/or stretch marks would make them feel self-conscious during intimate moments with their partner, compared to only 20% of men," Silverman said.

Mederma sells a number of treatments for skin imperfections, such as Mederma Advanced Scar Gel, designed for once-daily use and designed to improve the overall appearance, color and texture of scars when used on new scars for eight weeks. Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy is used to reduce discoloration and improve texture in stretch marks when used over a period of 12 weeks.