More Than a Skin Condition
We've all seen the young girl with her hair draped over her face, head down, refusing to look at you when you talk with her. Or the young man who rushes out of school or work as soon as possible and avoids contact with other people, desperately wanting to hide.
Profound and Devastating Effects
Acne is often more than a skin condition. It can have a very profound and devastating effect upon the sufferer. It's not only severe forms of acne that can cause the problems - even mild acne can be debilitating for some people. Occurring primarily in teens, acne affects nearly 85% of young people between the ages of 12 and 25 and the psychological and social impacts are of great concern. During a time when personalities are being developed, adolescents particularly are vulnerable since they are so profoundly affected by peer acceptance and status.
The now understood impact of acne can show up in terms of wounded self esteem and poor body image. Embarrassed acne sufferers avoid eye contact and as we mentioned, young girls can grow their hair long to cover their face. Heavy make-up is another tool often employed and a bane to young men because they don't feel they have the same advantage of cover-up. If acne appears on the body, it can inhibit participation in sports should the person have to change in a public facility.
Teens can be very cruel and pimples provoke taunts. The difficulty presented in relating with other people, particularly those of the opposite sex, can add to the pain. Self confidence wanes in the glare of acne and teens - or adult sufferers - become shy and reclusive, avoiding the negative reaction of others.
School and Work Affected
School and work can be affected should the individual refuse to leave the house. Sick days and absences put jobs at risk and certain careers become out of reach. The lack of self confidence can be as obvious as spotty skin, leading to unemployment. Interestingly enough, more people who are unemployed have acne than those who do not have acne.
As the emotional impact spirals, depression can be the result. Social withdrawal, classic signs of depression such as loss of appetite, lethargy, mood disturbances, crying, behavioral problems and feelings of unworthiness are all symptoms of depression. These very symptoms can lead some acne sufferers to consider suicide, and sadly, some have succeeded.
Acne can interfere with a person's life in dramatic ways. If it is significantly affecting you or someone you know, particularly if it has led to depression - seek medical help from your primary care giver or a dermatologist. Today, it isn't necessary to suffer silently. There are many excellent treatments available with very high success rates to treat acne and help restore a healthy sense of self esteem.