If you’ve got acne, you’ll know that the problem goes deeper than just the physical marks on your skin. The psychological impact of acne, especially on teenagers, is often overlooked, even if it can make us feel insecure, ashamed, unattractive and isolated. We think that practicing positive thinking is just as important as treating breakouts.
The psychological impact of acne
A recent study published by the British Skin Foundation looked at the effects of acne on the mental health of 14 to 16 year-olds in the UK, which can have lasting effects into adulthood. Girls are more likely to have an emotional response to acne and to develop behavioural difficulties, while boys are less likely to talk to friends and family about their acne. However, less than a third of participants sought help from a doctor.
Acne that occurs during adolescence was found to be particularly damaging as it’s a crucial stage in life, one when you build your self-identity and reach sexual maturation. The study found that for those teenagers suffering with acne, feelings of hostility, anger, shame, as well as negative interpersonal relationships can all be consequences.
However, if you suffer from acne, there are several things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude.
1. Talk to someone
Surrounding yourself with people who support you is a great way to encourage positive thinking. Whether it’s your family or friends, someone is bound to understand how you’re feeling and will be able to offer support and guidance when you’re feeling low, no matter how small a problem you think it might seem. Opening up to someone and really sharing how your acne makes you feel will make you feel less alone and misunderstood.
2. Be proactive
Don’t ignore the problem. If your acne is affecting your life, you have every right to want to get rid of it. A visit to the doctor’s really will help because not only will it encourage you to talk about your feelings but the doctor will be able to advise you about which treatment to take. If you feel embarrassed, remember that you’re not the first acne sufferer your doctor has seen, and you won’t be the last.
3. Stop giving yourself a hard time
Rather than putting yourself down for having problem skin, concentrate on things you do like about yourself. Remember that acne is nothing to do with poor hygiene and going to the doctor’s will help you realise that. Truly understanding the causes of your acne will help to build your confidence, mainly because it will help you find solutions.
4. Take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do
Think about what you would really love to learn or be good at and do it. Focus on why you want to do the activity, what you’ll gain from it, and let the benefits outweigh your anxieties. If your hobby involves the great outdoors, even better, as exercising is great for your mental wellbeing as well as your body.