Many people with acne feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about their skin. The prevalence of myths regarding why acne forms might even lead you to feel a sense of guilt or shame as if you are somehow responsible for your acne (don’t worry, you’re not).3
These feelings can be so strong that they prevent people with acne from doing things they really want to do. You might not want to pose for family pictures at a reunion.4 You might decide not to go swimming so your back acne doesn’t show.
Some people with acne have trouble looking others in the eye, while others completely avoid all social situations. If you feel this way, you’re definitely not alone.How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay
What You Can Do to Improve Your Acne and Quality of Life
Acne doesn’t have to rule your life. The first step is to get help right away. The treatment itself can help bring about a more positive attitude, even if you’ve struggled with acne for years. Many people experience a significant improvement in self-esteem and quality of life with the improvement of acne.5
Find a dermatologist who is sympathetic and willing to address the emotional issues that go along with acne. Be honest with your doctor. Let her know if acne is considerably affecting your self-esteem, interfering with your social life, or making you feel depressed or anxious.
Ideally, your self-esteem will improve along with your clearing skin. But don’t hesitate to get help if you need it.
Seek out a support system. Having a compassionate person, or group of people, who understand what you are going through can help dispel feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Having a friend with whom you can talk openly may be just what you need.
Acne support groups can often be found on Facebook, and there are a number of online forums that allow you to post questions or express concerns to others understand first hand what you are going through.
Be aware that many acne forums are outdated and offer advice that is no longer true. Some users may also market untested acne “cures” that are not only useless but potentially harmful.How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay
Acne and Poor Body Image
Individuals who suffer from acne often feel ashamed of the lesions, and compensate in various ways. They may hide themselves by refusing to go out with others. Others may grow their hair long or hang it over their face to hide the lesions. Young males who have acne over the shoulders, chest, or back, sometimes refuse to partake in sports like swimming because they have to change in public dressing rooms. Girls may opt for heavy makeup to hide current lesions or acne scars, without bothering about the possible flares the cosmetics might cause.
Acne and Social or Self-Rejection
Acne often makes a person feel extremely unattractive, so that one may lack the self-confidence even to look others in the eye. Such individuals may feel too shy to make friends with the opposite sex. They may face mocking comments from their peers who lack the appreciation of character or the courtesy to behave respectfully to others.
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Many acne patients report that they are acutely sensitive about how others perceive them on first meetings. Almost half of the patients in one study felt that others considered them to be dirty because of their acne.How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay
Such experiences may breed a vicious cycle of fear to face others. In the most extreme of such cases, the individual may develop a social phobia, and become house-bound.
Acne and Poor Academic Performance
Children with acne may not want to attend school during breakouts for fear of taunting or because of a low self-confidence. Even adults with acne may refuse to attend work or may be fearful of taking up certain jobs which demand a ‘perfect appearance’ in their eyes.
Job interviews appear to be more challenging for acne patients, both because they lack self-confidence, and because they are judged as less worthy by the interviewers on the basis of their appearance.
Unfortunately, many people who still have acne as working adults are the subject of well-meant criticism of their lifestyles and habits, and may be forced to seek treatment for what would otherwise be perceived by them as a minor disorder.
Acne and Depression
In both young and adult acne patients, depression may set in. This should be recognized and treated appropriately, as medical treatment for acne may take time to successfully get rid of the lesions and scars. The symptoms range from withdrawal or poor academic performance, to various bodily aches and pains which have no identifiable physical cause, loss of appetite, loss of interest in activities once favored, sleep disturbances, and mood lowering.How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay
Tools to Measure the Effect of Acne on Self-Esteem
Various psychological scales and rating instruments have been developed to measure the impact of acne on one’s mental and emotional well-being, and on the quality of life. They include:
APSEA: Assessment of the Psychological and Social Effects of Acne
Acne-QoL: Acne Quality of Life and Acne-Q4
AQOL: Acne Quality of Life Scale
ADI: Acne Disability Index
CADI: Cardiff Acne Disability Index
Adolescence is an important period for emotional and psychosocial development and considerable changes occur to self-consciousness. Low self-esteem in adolescence has been associated with delinquency, aggression, antisocial behavior, poor physical and emotional health, and lower economic success in adulthood compared to individuals with high self-esteem. This study focuses on how acne, a disease process that affects more than 85% of adolescents, impacts self-esteem in this patient population. We conducted a literature review for studies evaluating the impact of acne on adolescent self-esteem. Five studies that specifically focused on acne and self-esteem in the adolescent population were selected for complete review.How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay All of the studies found a correlation between adolescent acne and low self-esteem and the majority of acne patients surveyed across all 5 studies reported dissatisfaction with their appearance and demonstrated more emotional disturbance than their peers without acne. Patient perception of disease severity was found to be the most important and universal indicator of low self-esteem. Acne treatment was associated with improvement in self-esteem. Early and aggressive treatment can have a positive impact on self-esteem in adolescents with acne, and it is important to consider a patient’s perception of his/her disease severity when selecting a treatment regimen. The high correlation between acne and psychosocial problems in adolescents indicates that it is imperative to assess patients for low self-esteem and depression prior to treatment. How Can Acne Affect Self-Esteem Essay
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