Today we meet Miles whose battle with acne coincided with a change of school, which left him feeling insecure and self-conscious. He is here to tell us how he his confidence has grown since, and how he deals with spots in his adult life.
When your skin was at its worst how did it affect your self-confidence and self-esteem?
My skin was probably at its worst when I was around 13 or 14. I’d just moved from one school to another so that was when I started to become quite aware of it. It definitely affected my self-confidence, when I just had the occasional spots I could just laugh it off and it was normal. When it was worse than the people around me that’s when I started comparing myself to others a bit more. People looking at me was a big issue; if I had to stand up I’d be thinking that people were staring at my spots.
Did your skin used to affect how you socialised at school?
Yes it did. As I moved school and was in the process of making new friends it was just another added layer of pressure. I wanted to be liked despite having bad skin; I was worried people would see it as a weakness. I didn’t want to give people ammunition to pick on me.
What helped you to feel better on days you were unhappy with your skin?
I was always very conscious of doing something about it. I had a lot of support from my family who were always recommending products and telling me not to touch my face. The thing that probably made me feel better was ignoring it!
Why do you think it was so difficult to treat your skin when you were growing up?
When I was growing up it didn’t feel as though there were many skincare products aimed at guys, so I ended up using a lot of products my mum and sister recommended. I don’t think I was ever aware about how these products would help. I didn’t feel confident enough to seek treatment, so I mainly wanted to handle it myself.
How has your attitude to spots changed as you have got older?
I think that with age comes the confidence that skin doesn’t define you as a person. My confidence is separate from my skin, it doesn’t matter how many spots I have. I’m also much more proactive now because I have a better understanding of my skin and what works for it and what doesn’t
What would you want to say to reassure other people who suffer with acne-prone skin?
If I could give myself some advice as a 13 or 14-year-old I would say to trust that it will get better, not to be so worried about it and not to let it get you down. It affects so many people, just be proactive; there are plenty of skincare tools which can help. I don’t feel like it should have taken up so much of my time and I would say to other people don’t let it take up so much of yours.