How To Overcome or Deal Social Anxiety About Your Acne

Feeling self-conscious about acne is not a matter of vanity – it's a matter of feeling comfortable in your own skin. This can be especially difficult when media and society constantly tell us that perfect skin is not just attainable, but expected. Acne, and anxiety about acne, can take a serious toll on a person's self esteem and emotional wellbeing. We know that firsthand.

We spoke to Azra Alic, LCSW, a psychotherapist who specializes in Social Anxiety Disorder and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (such as skin picking). She walked us through some of the steps that she takes with clients who are battling acne-induced social anxiety.

Have you ever been at a social gathering and felt like you couldn’t actually BE yourself because your acne was affecting your confidence? In this post, Azra gives us some tools to help us overcome those moments.

Q: how have you seen acne affect one’s emotional wellbeing?

A: Acne can really impact people’s self-esteem, and can even lead to depression. I’ve worked with people who feel so self-conscious that they don’t want to be around other people. They might avoid spending time with friends or dating.

They might also avoid certain outdoor activities so they don’t have to wear clothing that reveals body acne, or avoid exercise or other activities where they might sweat their makeup off. Basically, acne can keep people from fully enjoying their lives.

Q: why do we feel like people are staring at our acne? do other people notice our acne as much as we do?

A: No, they don't! People think way more about themselves than they do about other people. Sometimes, I'll have a client do a behavioral experiment to help them test out their theories. I’ll have them walk around a public area without wearing makeup and try to see how many people “stare” at them.

Sometimes I’ll even record them and we’ll watch the video together to see if anyone gave them a weird look. People are usually surprised to find that their worst fears didn’t come true. I’d recommend this experiment for anyone out there who deals with social anxiety and acne.

Q: what are some common tactics people use to try and hide their acne from their peers and social circles?

A: I’ve worked with people who spend an excessive amount of time getting ready and camouflaging their acne before going out in public. They won’t go out in public without extreme preparation. They can never be spontaneous. They spend an exorbitant amount of money on makeup and skincare products. Depending on the location of their acne, they might take great care to style their hair to conceal acne or acne scars. They might even avoid certain clothing or activities because they don’t want to expose their acne or acne scars.

Q: how do you help your clients overcome anxiety around acne in social settings?

A: I help people focus on the social experience, rather than focusing on their appearance. For example, I’ll encourage them to try really hard to focus on the conversation they’re having. Be present!

By practicing mindfulness in this way, people start to learn to be fully in the moment instead of focusing on negative thoughts about their skin. 

Q: it's rare to see any mention of acne-caused anxiety in today's popular media. why do you think that is? 

A: Hmm that is a good question. I would guess that it’s because most of the advertising and product development in our culture is still focused on prevention and elimination of skin imperfections, rather than acceptance.

Also, I think that there is still an overarching belief in popular media that if you look good, you’ll feel good, and that gets reinforced over and over again in so many ways, whether it’s related to weight, skin, hair type, etc. But trying to find confidence solely through “looking good” is a never-ending battle.

It's much more common now to see “plus-size" models, but I think we have yet to see an editorial spread in which a model has a pimple (not to mention a pore!).

Q: how do we get ourselves to see more than our skin flaws when we look in the mirror?

A: It can be helpful to step away from the mirror a bit and take in the whole body, rather than getting up close and focusing only on what we are most self-conscious about.

Also, it can be helpful to focus on what is going to happen that day and why it’s important, rather than focusing on how you're feeling about yourself or how you look. For example, the thought “I’m going out with my friends tonight because these friendships are important to me” can start to negate the negative thought of “I have a big pimple and everyone is going to see”.

Q: do you have a good mantra to pass along to help those struggling with anxiety about acne? 

A: I don’t have a go-to mantra because I usually have clients come up with their own, but often it’s along the lines of, “my skin problem is probably not as noticeable as I think it is, and even if people notice, what is so bad about that? Can I handle whatever happens?”

Deep down, most people are afraid of being rejected for their perceived flaws but usually, that fear is unfounded.

Q: do you think that by sharing personal struggles about these topics with our peers online or via social media, we can begin to foster a more skin-accepting community and even society? 

A: Yes! Talking about insecurities and being vulnerable with others plays a big role in reducing feelings of shame and isolation. So often, people think that they are the only ones who are struggling with negative self-image when statistics tell us otherwise.

I do think it’s important to caution people about the “misery loves company” mentality and make sure that people are not just complaining to one another, but rather that the messages being exchanged are empowering.

Thank you, Azra!

 

so what are our steps to feeling better about our “imperfections”?

1) Look people in the eye when you’re having a conversation with them.

2) Be present.

3) Remember that you are always your own worst critic.

4) And, finally, remind yourself that your breakouts do not impact your self worth.

 

we hope you found this helpful - if you have any questions, email info@cocokind.com!


47 Comments

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Neil ivan on

I’m currently suffering thru a tough situation with acne on my face i do and honestly say that im conscious over my phys. appearance. And sometimes just wanna think why is the world unfair.

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Sienna on

Hi i’m 14 years old and recently started breaking out on my forehead. At first they appeared as very small bumps, but gradually have worsened and become a crippling and degrading insecurity that I have to combat. I wasn’t fazed by my acne in the beginning as it was less noticeable, but now I am so self conscious of it that I am to anxious to hangout with friends and go in public, feeling that I will be considered as an outcast. I have tried a wide variety of different skincare products anticipating to see results, but always turn out disappointed. I keep trying to find the light in this situation, but it keeps diminishing when those around you are constantly pointing out your acne, trying to “fix” you when instead you feel crushed and your insecurities are heightening. Social media has portrayed this message that you need perfect skin to feel beautiful, and has set unrealistic expectations upon those who feel like they need to fulfil this statement. The media focuses more on highlighting insecurities then normalising it, which messes with peoples head making them feel that they aren’t worthy enough of being categorised in the “norms” of society that have been praised for a long time. A change is needed, and those who suffer from acne should feel comfortable in their own skin as it is normal and beautiful.

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Anish on

I am 23years old my acne started at the age of 14years what’s the issue is I get rid of pimples but it left so many scars on my face on my chest on my shoulders and on my upper back I have used many products to get rid of scars but nothing helped me I am facing this issue since 5 years it really damaged my self esteem. I can’t socialize with people I can’t even talk to close friends watching face to face these acne and scars made me introvert I can’t leave home society even point out those scars and feel annoy. I am done with it I can’t take it any more as I always think I born with badluck

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Yana on

My acne.. really just comes and goes… And it’s really in my dad’s genes since my brother and my cousins get them too. Words couldn’t explain and fingers couldn’t count the feelings and how many times I’ve been humiliated, shamed, and called nicknames on because of my skin. I just want it gone but it’s really such a long battle. I started taking selfies without filters on.. and I could say it really helped because apparently, my skin isn’t that bad. But whenever I see couples on social media, I wonder if I’d even get one. Intimacy is part of it. Everyone should have a social life. But with these spots on my face, arms, chest and back?! I still wonder how I’d get through with my life. I’m seeking a professional for about a few months now and I even deactivated my socials because I wanna focus on myself and heal properly. Thanks to this website I feel more less insecure!! :,)
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pari on

I have PCOS,I’ve been breaking out since I was 16 I tried so many products but nothing worked for me
now its my second time to be on accutane , what hurts me the most is not the acne itself I prefer to have so much acne but not scars, the first time I started breaking out I broke out more than today but it didn’t leave scars on my face, but this time my acnes are cystic and leaving scars which I hate so much,i can’t stop looking in the mirror and not cry, I cry everyday and have no hope, I’m a medical student but my acne had an impact even on my studying because I’m just too sad

robert on

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I apply acne patches to my skin for more than 2 years now and i got clear skin but… I do. All thanks to those acne patches products I would like to share with you.

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anonymous on

I used to be so are free and happy-go-lucky and I miss that. I developed bad acne on my face and back it was horrifying. My family always had clear skin so I was like an animal at the zoo for them to look at. The constant reminder from my sister that I’m different doesn’t help. I use to love swimming and was planning to be on the team but then after I got acne, I couldn’t get in the pool because I would have to were a shirt to cover it up. I just wish people would understand that pointing it out and saying do this is not helpful it just ruins my day because it reminds me that something is different about me that they need to point it out.

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Lin YJ on

Hey I go by the name Lin YJ and I deal with quite bad acne too, I see some of the comments and I’d like to say, I’m feeling lucky. Been dealing with this acne for a year plus, I get scared to face my frends knoeing they have clear skin while I don’t, I have a girlfriend, LDR, I dont know if I can face her with the acne on my face, it really ruins self esteem, but without this acne we wouldn’t learn how to appreciate clear skin. Hope everyone who has acne has a speedy recovery.

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Alaska on

I am 14 now. My acne started when I was around 12 years old. At first, my parents didn’t thought much about it because
they thought that it was just because of puberty. Even I didn’t think much about it. But it started getting worse. I have acne all over my face, on my shoulders,neck and a little bit on my chest. Acne made me so self-conscious that I started getting socially anxious. I get nervous even when I have an appointment with my dentist.

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Pass by on

I have been suffering for so long, I feel ashamed of my face every time I had to look in the mirror, I have faith that one day it will be over and I won’t ever care about having this problem again but it seems like it’s quite a long battle. It really affects me psychologically in such a bad way that I feel so depressed and uncomfortable, my face would look absolutely much different without acne and pimples here and there. Can’t tell how much that annoys me to the extent that I stay up so late thinking about it, cry sometimes and so..I believe it’s temporary, and yes it’s normal, you are not the only person in the world, many others share the same emotions and feelings and this website really helps. I thank everyone who shared their experience here and I’ve been touched by the amount of support and self-esteem shown.

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Dante peters on

the word insecure does not begin to sum up what i fell about my acne which i have been in a constant battle for 4 years plus now sometimes i look at old pictures of myself and just think about what my life would be like if i had clear skin, every morning i look at the mirror hoping that one day i am just gonna wake up to see that all my acne is gone but i am gotten tired of being optimistic i don’t even have hope in any of the products i am currently using because no of it works for me but i just keep using then i would feel even wort if i did nothing. sometimes days i feel like i would rather loose a toe than to leave another day with acne i would say for sure i have acne has made become someone who like to be by them self every time because i have to put up this fake personality that i am okay with my skin when i am with other so i just think it is better to be alone al the time. i cant even facetime my friends proper because of this shit . i hate it when i hear people tell me you should try this and that and some other bullshit products because no of it works and they don’t just get that when i do have to go out i hoodie is up and m head is down. i cant even lie to you i don’t know if it is ever going to get better so i just try my best to get accustomed to this type of life , cant lie I’m tearing up a little as i writhing this but quickly cleaning my tears because i don’t know if leaving my tears on my face is going to cause another outbreak. for anyone out there who is battling acne like me i would like to say the one thing i think is true when it come to this acne stuff and that is stay strong and just keep doing what your already dong because nothing else is going to work.

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Wahyu Rismawati on

Hello, I’m Risma and I’m from Indonesia. I think that it is a common thing to have acne skin here, in Indonesia. I have acne since I was 10 y.o and still have it until now. I’m a very shy and introverted (I guess) person that I only have few friends in my 21 y.o life. I always silently cry whenever I look at my reflection in mirror. I feel like I’m the worst, ugly, unsightly person in life for having acnes on my whole face. I’m so disgusted with my face. I know that I’m not the only one who is experiencing this, but I just can’t help feeling hopeless whenever I go out and people start looking at my face. I’m tired of people trying to tell me to do this or that thing to get rid of my acnes without knowing my struggles to actually GET RID OF THIS ACNE. I’m grateful that they are trying to care for me by recommending me to do those things, but I don’t know, their acts just make me more conscious of my imperfections. And that sucks. I’m still trying to love this imperfection tho. Wish me luck so I will be more stronger than I am now.

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Anonymous on

I have gotten so much from this website and it’s so nice to be able to relate to all the comments. All I think about when I’m in social groups or spending time with love ones, is that they are looking at my skin and That they are feeling bad for me about my scars. I feel like I’m the only person I know with sever acne scars and no one understands how I feel. I just stare at my skin in different lighting, just wishing I had normal skin and could think about other things and be happy. I’m in a happy relationship, but when he looks at me all I feel is that he is looking at my scars and think that he wishes I didn’t have them, even though her has never said that. Maybe I just feel like he can do better with someone with good skin even though he loves me. No one understands until they have gone through acne. I’m just glad I was able to know we’re all not alone out there and we will get through this together.

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Dan Scarlett Valkyrie Wall on

I have had bad skin all my life including eczema and its miserable and demoralising. I’m about to turn 49 and I’m still covered, it’s mainly hormone driven and I get clusters of painful cysts and black heads that are very visible. I want to send my love and support to everyone struggling, it’s hard not to feel ashamed because you have spots. I eat healthy, exercise, I’m on meds and you know what sometimes there’s very little you can do, it’s not your fault and it’s not an indication of your self worth.

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Syafitri on

Hallo i"m Syafitri. Im 15 y.o ..im from indonesia and its tropical country i had pretty bad acne since i was 9 or 10 and still happen until now. Everyday i always think that im the ugliest girl in my classroom even in my school. Well i can not think positively about my self because i have super terrible skin. I have large pores, my skin colour is brown, my face is red and have those called blackheads or whiteheads all over my face. Have you seen the girl with the super perfectly clean, clear and smooth skin? I am the opposite of it. My skin always looking dull and it is super super oily.. Expecially when im living in this tropical country. When i go outside people ALWAYS staring at MY FACE. And i feel very ugly and tryna walk fast . Well its more painful when youre best friend say in front of youre face that your skin is the worst in the world. But she’s not the only one who talking like that. There’s my teacher, my mom, my friend’s mom, my sister and etc. Im muslim girl who wear hijab , when im praying i always ask to Allah to make me strong. Sometimes i cry a lot alone, cause im introverted and im naturally a shy person this acne always make me to think that im ugly. But every single day i always think that ‘its okay to be not perfect at least you are real’. Maybe it sound stupid like why the hell would i think like that. But i do, everyday. And for the girls out there, always always always remember that beautiful is not to look by beauty standard. For example if you have very white skin don"t be shy. Ik most of american girl wanna have tan skin. But in here you are totally beautiful as fuck. Because million people in here want to have white skin. This is help me to sharing my story because i dont trust anyone again to talk about my bad bad acne. If u guys meet me in the real life u would be thankful to God because at least you dont have acne face like mine. I have whatsapp and im looking for friend to sharing with. I would be happy if some of u guys who reading this wanna be my friend. I hope my story help you to be open minded about acne face.

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Kelsey on

Hey! I’m 14 years old and i’ve been struggling with acne for what seems like forever (well, its my third year). At first I wasn’t really worried about it and I kept telling myself it would go away in a few moths to a year. When it didn’t though, I started to become very self conscious. I would try to cover it up with makeup, but all it did was irritate my skin even more and leave me with another pimple and several more white/blackheads. I would literally just stare in the mirror and cry because i felt so ugly. Even through all that, I defiantly agree that we- the ones struggling with acne, are our own worst critics. A few days ago I talked to my best friend about how acne affected my everyday life (not wanting to go to school, not wanting to show my face, purposely avoiding going to parties and other social events), and she told me that she rarely ever just notices my acne and that what really matters is what’s in the inside, not the outside. This article has brightened my day up! Just a few minutes ago I was sulking on my couch, but now I’m gonna get up and try to remember I’m beautiful just the way I am!! Have a wonderful day! <3

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Advanced Skin Care on

Awesome post in the view of acne. People cant understand how they can face the acne problems. Here you explain very well if any want to get advanced skin care tips they can visit to offer official website advancedskincares.com, here we trying to help those people who facing the real problems.

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jane on

acne is by far my biggest insecurity. my skin can literally determine whether I’m sad or happy. I don’t want to go to social events because of how self conscious I am. honestly I know it sucks so much. but acne is normal and it is temporary.

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Emily Young on

Hi I’m only fourteen years old but I can totally relate with most of these comments. Compared to other kids at school I developed acne at a very early age and was always envious of everyone else had perfect skin. And ever since I began using medication at such a young age my face has gotten worse. I try to lighten up my facial routine but when I do my acne gets worse… and on the other hand when I continue what I’m doing now my face gets really red and irritated…

My anxiety started up when I noticed my cousins in a summer trip having near perfect skin and my aunts trying to recommend different products to me. I got that they were trying to help me but bringing it up all the time made me overly self conscious.. Plus, it doesn’t help that my older brother in Highschool has never had a pimple in his life despite being too lazy most of the time to wash his face in the morning!

Next year I’m going to a new Highschool with none of my friends nor siblings.. I’m worried if I will find enough confidence to make new friends and enjoy the “best years of my life”. Reading this article and the comments made me feel a little better today.. I hope I can get over this fear of mine and make new friends in the fall!

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dayspa.goldsborospinecenter on

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Preksha on

I dont knowfrom where to start i have been struggling with acne for 4 years it will come in march make my skin worse and suddenly dissapear for months when i begin to feel happy ya its clearing up its pops out again …i thaought lets leave this all medicines and ointments and stick to ayurvedic thrn again ehen i did that it became much worse then i started my treatment again with those medicine then my skin cleared up again i felt happy but here it goes march came then my skin became agian worse .i tell myself daily u r beautiful its okay its just a pimple but even when i am telling myself somwhere i am hurting ..i dont go outside i always stay in home .i dont even have frds ..i know this post is not positive but i just wanted to share my feelings …

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Clare on

It’s really validating to read all the other comments here about people who have experienced the same thing. For me, my social anxiety when it comes to my acne can feel crippling. And it makes me feel so ridiculous sometimes, because it can seem like such a silly thing to worry over, but while I wish none of us had this experience, the fact that lots of us have experienced something similar is a relief.

I started getting acne as soon as puberty hit—when I was twelve years old, I think. Since then, I have never had clear skin. Ever. There are times when I got close, but my skin has never been blemish-free. I’m eighteen now, and still struggle with this issue. I’ve tried so many products and so many home remedies online. None of them seem to make much of an impact. I constantly have acne all over my forehead and my chin, sometimes on my cheeks and under my nose. It feels like a futile fight. I’ll work really hard and be super careful not to touch my face and I’ll be rigorous with my skincare. It’ll seem to be working and then—bam! It all returns the next week.

I think people who don’t have problems with acne really don’t understand how much it affects your self-esteem. I hate that I feel ashamed to walk around in public because I don’t want people to have to see my face. It’s a horrible thing to be having a conversation with someone and be barely able to concentrate because I’m so ashamed for making them look at my repulsive face. My insecurity about my acne and my appearance in general has made it harder for me to make friends and get through social interactions because I lack confidence and seem to have this powerful belief that I make people uncomfortable because of it.

I know, logically, that my appearance doesn’t dictate my worth. Having clear skin doesn’t make you a better person. But somehow I can’t seem to convince myself of it. I really hope when puberty comes to its end that I’ll finally be able to say goodbye to my acne problems. And if not, I hope it’ll be less of a problem for me.

There’s no easy solution to this problem, but I hope all of you out there know that there are other people who experience the same problem. That you’re not alone in this problem and insecurity and that imperfect and blemished skin is normal.

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scar on

it’s 1:00 am. I’m silently crying while reading this, I’ve been battling with acne for 4 years now. I had this kind of anxiety. Just today, my friends planned to hangout but I couldn’t say yes but I can’t even tell them the reason why. Its just my acne gone worst again, and Im too shy to face them or the public. trying to be positive and thinking “oh it’s just acne, im still pretty” but really sometimes you’ll be eaten by your own insecurities..cant help it . i feel too ugly because of this. I’ve tried so many product, and yes , I have consulted with a dermatologist already. yet im still here with acne. feeling so hopeless now. Im left with no confidence.

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neyyyyy on

thanks to this article at least it does help me boost up my spirit even it is only 000.1% haha..idk I’m just suffering acne vulgaris lately in which everyday I get new pimple :( it is reallyyy stucked bcs before this I never experienced getting lots of pimples at the same time! People used to compliment me that I had such flawless & beautiful skin before (highschool period). Buttt my skin is worsen day by day when I entered university until now. yeah, I’ve tried skincares that claim to reduce acne blablabla but somehow I don’t see the changes or it is only me that can’t be patient to wait for the result haha.. however, I’m looking forward for the advices to be used especially when I’m surrounded by toxic people in which I need to brainwash their stigma on people suffering acne prone skin. thankyou :)

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Faith Uwakwe on

I’ve come to realize that life is about how you see yourself from the inside. I started breaking out at the age of 20. Since then it has not been a smooth sailing path. Thanks to this article. I feel rejuvenated… It’s quite soothing to find out that many a person go through what you are going through. At least you’re not alone in the quagmire….

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Solanna on

I was actually always at home as I’m not comfortable going outside. Back then, I tried to socialize, i really did try, but then every time i do it, people always ask what happened to my face or if not, they always tell me what to do; buy this product or this product etc. I am tired. For 8 years I’ve been suffering these horrible acne. Nothing works and it’s draining me, when will this end? I feel like I’m missing the half of my life just because i don’t wanna go outside. Is it just me or people do stare? but I hope they only stare, sometimes they tease me for having it. But i won’t ever wish for someone to have it, it’s the worst.

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Bev on

At 53 and still have acne. Monthly laser treatments and spot treating with wart remover does help however it never completely goes away. I’ve worked with dermatologists since the age of 13. I have had to remove dairy and gluten from my diet. I can’t go outside unless I have the acne covered - high anxiety as a result and my husband’s/children’s comments don’t help.

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juliana on

to whoever reading this , yes you cant make your acne go away but please dont feel anxiety or depress . girl , you are beautiful . its just you are giving negative thinking to yourself . i understand you feel insecure when you see a girl with clear skin , clear arm so she can wear whatever she want while you need to choose clothes that can cover your acne . But please rethink . imagine you dont have leg , hand or you dont have eye . im not downgrading the people who dont have these i mentioned buttt please appreciate yourself . still can walk , can learn can see , imagine if you cannot hear and all people make fun of you . wdy feel ? acne can be removed . i also have so many acne but i tried so hard to remove and now its getting better from before . try using turmeric powder + honey + lemon put on your face . im using that remedies . Before that , i spent so much money for my face but end up getting worst . So last , please appreciate yourself . Maybe you are not perfect in face , but trust me you have your own beautiful at another way . maybe you can sing well or can do beautiful drawing or maybe faster learner ? we dont know . everyone is pretty !!!! stop your anxiety . spent your time with family . ask your mother abt your face . yah mother is always an expert in everything . believe in yourself . dont worry about who doesnt like you . do you like you ? its okay to have acne . i pray that you all and also me can overcome this anxiety . xoxo

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amanda on

i’m 17 years old . i suffered from acne scars as i loved to picking it cause i think its better than having a big acne on my face . I have many acne since im 13 years old . At the beginning , i think the acne will come and go but now im suffered double for the acne scars too . its full on my cheek , i feel hmm i dont know mybe almost to depressed :( i once had a boyfriend but i will decline whenever he asked me for a date then we break for no reason . i feel insecure when seeing most of girls on soc media is very very pretty but they are saying “ im not pretty ” “ can someone teach me how to be pretty ” i dont understand their ways . if the pretty ones said that they are ugly then how abt me :(((( im full of acne ! i tried many skincare that people said will reduce acne and remove scars but nothing happen , i dont know whats wrong with my skin . i even avoid family gathering and rarely looked my siblings and family face , i mean talking while looking into their eyes as i feel im so ugly :( i never forgot my own mom said my face is getting worst and not pretty like before … idk if she is kidding but yah her word is on my mind every night .. i really relly hope i can face my anxiety !!!!! i always cry because of this , i think if i have clear skin all my problems will go away :<

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Matt J on

I had awful acne from ages 15-17. I suddenly became way less confident, lost friends as I didnt go to gathering etc. When i got onto medication for it at 17, i had just moved school and my acne cleared up. I made so many mates, had a blast of a time (which i never used to at school.) However at the age of 19 my acne has become resistant and i’m back to square one. I now avoid social gatherings at all costs and am very anxious about my acne. Everything I do in life i question “is this making my acne worse”. SUCKS really but this is life. Sorry if this came across as a rant, never have had anyone to talk about it.

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Pamela on

I had persistent acne from about age 12 on into my 30s. During my teens, it was bad enough that even my dermatologist would wince. My mother blamed me and compared me to my sibling who had other issues but clear skin. I say this because now, several lifetimes on, i bear the physical scars and remember the hurt and shame I felt, but I took care of my skin through it all and my scars could be worse.

In addition to basic healthy skin products, a good diet, a balanced perception, and a rich inner life and spirit are the keys. Through my own experience, I can agree with the thoughts in this post.

Practise taking the focus off your feelings about yourself and, as was suggested, be present. I’ve lived through many unpleasant things, and mindfulness has kept me going when all else seemed unbearable.

For those living with acne, we face a difficult challenge. But you can do what you love and grow through it. I performed onstage as a musician with terrible acne, and you can follow your passion as well. Hold hope close! Best wishes.

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Kristina Petrova on

I have been suffering from acne for 3 years now…I can’t remember the way my skin looked like before all the scars, redness and huge pimples. My family is going on a trip tomorrow. I pretended I’m sick because 2 days ago I completely destroyed my face by picking it. I can’t leave my house without the tons of makeup. I can’t believe I spoiled my family’s trip because I’m insecure about myself. I wish my acne would just go away…

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ErickaJello on

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ErickaJello on

Hi, Im ericka and Im 17 years old. I have acne and large pores. I always over think when ever I see my reflection in the mirror and always wonder what if the guy I like will see me in person. Do he still like me if he sees the truly me? But i was end up crying because maybe when he see me he wouldnt like me anymore. I always have this anxiety everytime I look at his picture why would a handsome guy would end up dating an ugly girl like me? But now i read your article maybe my confidence boost a little bit. If he will see me in person I will be true to myself and if ever he wouldn’t like me because of my appearance maybe he is not really the one because if a guy really likes you he will accept you no matter what but i still hope he will accept me no matter what i am. Thanks for the great advice by the way.

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Juliana Banuelos on

Im 15 and Im dealing with bad acne, sometimes my acne would appear over night. I don’t use makeup Because I know it would make it worse. I cut off junk food and greasy food I also stuck to drinking water only. I’ve been cleaning my face day and night everyday but I really haven’t been seeing any clear results.

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Amar on

It’s very hard when you can’t face yourself in the mirror.
It’s hard when people tell you how bad your acne are.

But after all this there is one thing which cannot change is your mindset that you perceive over the time.
I had acne till i was 26 years old, and its been an year or so that i am completely off from this. I can tell you just one thing is that It cant get worse then this. the day you realize that this is it, now the only scope is improving that day you will feel free from all the stress that you you have developed.

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S Munster on

My life revolves around my skin. I’m constantly looking in the mirror, looking at the few actives I have but the massive amount of scarring. It gives me anxiety. I hate it and always wonder why this skin disease has to happen to me.

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Carrie on

Hi I’m 44 this year and just finished cancer treatments. Then about a month later I start breaking out. I had bad acne as a teen into my 20 and for the last 20 years it has been good. Def know that is is a hormonal thing because of the cancer and having to go off birth control and take a hormone blocker. Trying to stay positive but to be honest I stress more about the acne then the possibility of the cancer coming back. Should be worrying about wrinkles not stupid pimples at my age.

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Anna Lopez on

I’m 20 years old and I’ve had acne since I’ve been 11 years old. I have tried every topical treatment that doctors have given me and my face always grows a resistance to all of them. It has reached a point where I feel completely hopeless. I honestly feel ugly all the time, I do not like my face at all. I’ve never been asked out, no one has ever been attracted to me, guys never pay any attention to me and the only conclusion I can come up with is that it’s because of my acne. My acne has stopped any kind of love life from happening, it has given me severe depression and anxiety, and it’s made me completely give up. I wish I didn’t feel so alone with this issue.

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David on

I’m 40 and have been fighting acne since a teen. For all you fighting out there, it will get better, but do not stop fighting. In order of importance, I will say try this:
1. NO ANTIBIOTICS – dermatologists are too quick to prescribe it. I developed resistance and it was a NIGHTMARE. Don’t do it, long term use can develop gram negative folliculitus. It’s bad stuff – please hear me.
2. Stop all dairy and gluten – it’s hard but it is necessary. Depending on your severity, go to a low inflammation diet and look to cut out all sugar.
3. Only after no. 1 and 2, then start playing with your regimen – face wash 2x per day (no more), moisturizer, sunscreen, spot treatment, concealer, etc. – read reviews and TEST small patch before applying. Make small changes not wholesale moves of all products.
4. I highly recommend considering nutritional supplements – zinc, fish oil, probiotics, turmeric, gut balance items, etc. Find a nutritionist to support you in this.
5. No high intensity workouts (e.g. boot camps, power lifting, insanity, etc.). Cardio 3x per week for 25-30 mins with 2-3 days of yoga to keep yourself cool.

Even after this, it will come to managing this journey (it’s a disease unfortunately, so it’s all moderation and finding balance).

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Shivanih on

Ive had acne since I was 11 years old at that time my mom dismissed saying its just puberty which Probably what it was but I’m almost 20 now and I still suffer from acne i do have hormonal issues but nothing helps i watch my diet , exercise and drink water as well, but it just won’t go away. Ive been using recommended products etc they do a little help but the acne just always pops back..i don’t know if it will ever end..i feel so powerless

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Alison on

I struggle with skin issues, always have off and on. I get it.
I’ve come to realize in adulthood that it is so much less about skin care (aside from moisturizer- a must!), and more about diet and hormones. I think it’s different for everyone but ultimately, as a person of science, I cannot possibly imagine how diet (carbs, refined sugar, processed foods) does not play a direct role in how certain people’s skin is affected by hormonal acne.
Sugar=insulin= free testosterone (and other reactions in the body) = increase sebum… etc – we know the rest. Causes more stress, we lose sleep over it (or other more important things, even), more skin issues… we get sad and eat more shit… at least I do!! it’s a terrible cycle.

No amount of scrubbing or hiding from the outside will fix what is happening from the inside out.

I am following modern advice and my skin flare up is starting to simmer down. I got my worst breakout of my life at 33!

Medication was doing nothing to help deep cysts, painful and red as hell for weeks at a time. I wouldn’t go get the kids from daycare or the bus stop. I was missing my oldest play sports because I wanted to avoid talking to the parents or coaches, for my skin. It was so sad.
I strongly believe in looking at non-western societies and how they nourish themselves and what they expose themselves to.

From my experience, I would do your own research. Nobody knows your body better than you and Drs only go by the literature… I’d Look for food sensitivities FIRST THING! This is totally within your control- no prescription needed. Try an elimination diet for two weeks -get very, very basic on diet and see if there’s improvement. Look for hormone disrupters in your current routines, eat less but eat well (natural/nutritious) , sleep, hydrate always, be less “busy”, protect the energy around you as best you can, and work on your self-care/self-love. Exercise is supposed to help too. Haha. Haven’t gotten there quiet yet. I hate to sweat ;)
I’ve personally seen a huge difference these last two months and am only seeing improvement as time goes on. Still using prescription benzoyl peroxide and vitamin a for scaring but it’s actually working, after months of only getting painfully worse. I can actually cover my acne with makeup again. It’s subsiding and I couldn’t be happier so I thought I’d share.
Good luck to you all.

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anonymous on

People would always cover their faces on social media thinking they’re ugly while they have the perfect smile and clear skin. I do not understand their ways. They would say they do not care about looks and everybody is the same to get a good reputation for themselves while they insult people because of their acne. I have acne and try to hide it but always covering my face with my sweater. My parents would say it’s just puberty but I do not think so. I wish everyday to just rip off my face and get a new shiny one but of course that will never happen. If your reading this and is insecure about your face, just know there’s clones of you out in the world dealing with the same problem and your not alone. (:

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Cole on

I’ve had acne all over my body and face for two years now and I have gradually gotten more and more insecure about it, it’s to the point where I can’t even wear a regular t-shirt anymore. My face, neck, arms, back, shoulders, chest, and even torso have developed severe acne. I walk in the halls of my high school and feel extreme jealousy looking at people with clear arms like it’s expected. Despite my best efforts over the past two years to fight my acne it’s just gotten worse.

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Jonathan on

I hate my acne it is super bad like very bad to the point we’re ive had to use 3+ kinds of medications and I wish it would just go away I hate it

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Lacey on

I suffer with horrible acne which makes me cover my acne with makeup everyday it’s so bad that i feel like people won’t date me because of it or don’t like me it gets in the way of living my life and i literally don’t know what to do about it anymore i’ve tried so many skin products to make it get better and sometimes i feel like it gets better but after i think it’s getting better i break out again:/

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Karrington Nuon on

I am very insecure about my acne, it honestly isn’t bad compared to a lot of people, but I am a guy, and I wear some concealer to hide it, I spend an hour or two getting ready for any social event trying to cover my acne, I sometimes do not attend social events, I am afraid of being seen by people in the raw light of the outdoors. My life revolves around my acne, it is the worst, people with perfect skin do not understand how blessed they are to be able to wake up everyday and not have 10-20+ new pimples on their face in the morning. I hate it, and I don’t know what to do.

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