By Kali Kushner
Acne and self-love often relate to each other….. and they lie on the self-esteem of one individual suffering from this skin condition. Often times, we ask ourselves these questions: “Will I ever learn to love myself despite my acne? How can I get through this depression caused by acne?”
What Acne Is
Acne, as one study defines, is a skin disorder where the units (pilosebaceous) in the scalp, face, neck and shoulders cause breakouts and spots on the body. It commonly affects mostly teenage and young adult women, even human beings and all acne types can severely affect a person’s body image and self-esteem.
People suffering from acne depression often feel ashamed of themselves that they shut themselves off from other people instead of hanging out with them and there are also cases when they often feel unattractive and unlovable, hence lacking the self-confidence which is why they feel shy about making friends with the opposite gender and worrying what they would say or think about them. Another worst case scenario is that acne sufferers fear facing sarcastic or mean comments. Acne doesn’t just affect our skin, it also takes a toll on our entire life.
Acne depression can be such a trivial problem as it affects both our skin and entire life in the sense that we lose our self-confidence and our self-esteem lowers – that no other people can understand except ourselves.
Self-love is very important especially during this phase. When we learn to love ourselves in spite of our acne, it can be a start of overcoming our anxieties or depression caused by this skin condition.
What Acne Can Do
1) It Can Make You Feel Depressed
Yes it’s hard to undergo acne – it makes you feel depressed, angry, anxious about yourself and even overwhelmed to the point that all you care about is your skin condition and you let it get the better of you. Acne may be a good and bad effect, depending on your perspective. Some take acne as a negative aspect of their whole life, especially when they think that their acne will last long or resists the treatments given to them.
2) It Can Impact Your Social Life
One of the negative aspects of acne is that it affects your social life. Society puts a great importance on one’s physical appearance. Acne affects everything the moment it enters your life in such a way that you start withdrawing from other people, feel uncomfortable or embarrassed of your skin.
Effects of acne depression can be very profound –both social and psychological. Just think of it, a mild can already be debilitating, what more of a severe acne? Regardless of where we are, acne affects almost everything in us. Wearing makeup is a way for us girls to conceal our face with cakey foundation so that people can’t see.
3) It Can Give A Lot of Pressure – Psychologically!
We all know that our skin is one of the things people first notices. When we have acne, we are at a disadvantageous side where people emphasize more on good looks. While some may cope better than us, we are psychologically and physically affected by acne.
Our skin is the largest organ visible for people to notice at first. We tend to be at a disadvantageous side when we develop acne as people look first on our physical appearance and they are emphasizing on good looks. Some people may cope better than us, while some are psychologically and physically affected by acne.
These psychological impacts or pressures caused by acne are as follows:
- a) Ignorance - Picture this sad but true statement: people often mistakenly believe that people with acne are of low hygiene standards. Just because people undergo acne , it already means that they have poor hygiene standards as it may be caused by other factors such as hormonal imbalance or poor lifestyle. It’s not always about low hygiene standards.
- b) Lack of Empathy – Apathetic people do not exactly understand what an individual suffering from acne depression is going through. With or without meaning to, people can easily pass judgments or give unsolicited advice. Like, “you need to seek facial treatment”, “go on a cosmetic surgery….” so and so… who needs all these unwelcome advice?
- c) Inability to socialize with the opposite gender – Acne causes depression to most of us especially during our elementary, high school or college years. It makes us feel uncomfortable and less confident to be friends with someone of the opposite gender as well as shy away from them because we fear that they would judge our physical appearance.
- d) Bullying – What could be worse than people judging our physical appearance? We all had our fair share of bullying all because of our acne - people passing by and making nasty comments of our face. They can be really tactless when giving such deriding remarks like “who are you to judge my face?”
- e) Professional discrimination – It’s not just in school that we face problems caused by acne. We also face it when we’re applying for jobs as our future boss will judge from our physical appearance, especially in some industries where our physical appearances are one of the most important factors or qualifications for us to pass. (Modeling, TV appearances, Hosting… know what we mean?)
But don’t fret! Here are tips on how you can overcome or conquer acne depression:
1) Silence those inner critic – You are your own critic. And believe it or not, it’s up to you if you’ll let those harsh words consume you and your self-confidence. Replace those negative thoughts with affirming ones. Words or statements like: “I am beautiful even with acne.” , “I am more than my skin or acne” . “My acne doesn’t define me” etc.
2) Stop the Pity Party – This is one thing we have to quit if we wanted to feel more confident about ourselves and rise above acne depression – and it’s a pity party. Would anything positive happen when you pity yourself because of your acne? No. They don’t help alleviate your skin concerns but rather worsen. Compassion and pity are two different things. Compassion means loving yourself in spite of your skin condition while pity means you’re degrading yourself.
3) Recognize Your Worth or Value – Recognizing your worth or value doesn’t mean you’ll have to please other people or force them to appreciate you. That is not going to work. Seeking validation from other people means that you don’t love or appreciate yourself the way you are. Who cares if they like you or not? They don’t own you nor do they own your skin. You ARE your own. You are perfectly imperfect.
4) Raise your self-confidence – Instead of mulling over what is wrong or incomplete in you, why embrace the positive qualities you have and appreciate it? Or even keep yourself busy by engaging in things or activities you enjoy the most? It may be enrolling in theater arts, performing arts.. or even reading books… That way, you won’t be paying too much on your physical flaws.
To sum it up, acne depression doesn’t have to stay forever. You can rise above your acne depression by following those tips mentioned above. Recognize your worth or value and love yourself more. Remember, you are more than your skin and people’s judgments don’t have to define you. You Are Perfectly Imperfect.
Which of these tips will you start following? Are you going to recognize your worth or value, raise your self-confidence, silence your inner critic or quit the act of pitying yourself?