Easing the suffering from acne

The effects of acne and pimples

Maybe you have been anticipating or possibly even dreading the "big day" for months. Whatever it is just is not important, it may be your birthday party, a vital job interview, or even the all-important first date. You may try to hide yourself behind a lot of makeup or hair. But the mirror will not lie, and you must face the facts.

Does this sound familiar to you? For people who suffer with acne around the globe these scenarios are all very common. Even routine interactions such as going to the market, or a regular office day can be a nightmare of self-loathing and stress. Even though acne vulgaris is just cosmetic, these emotions are really felt and can be dismissed as just oversensitivity. Your coworkers and friends with clear faces will mock you with comments of, "really, its not that bad."

Those people are probably on the right track, although they're missing the most important point: acne can make you feel horrible no matter how you look. Throughout the years medical treatment and research methods have changed but the all too common answer to the question of how acne makes a person feel is still the same" depressed, dirty, angry and ugly." These answers remain the same through national borders, age barriers and gender lines.

So what can be done to fix this situation? Each year millions is devoted to treatment and medical study of acne. Many millions more is spent on marketing and developing remedies that can be sold over the counter. Although not very much research has been done on the emotional effects of acne. Not very much time has been put into the determination of social and psychological effects of the acne condition.

A statement made in a 1948 article by Zaidems and Sulzberger quotes a true statement that is still true to this day. It basically states that acne vulgaris is the only single condition that causes trauma to the psyche, maladjustment between children and parents, and feelings of general insecurity and inferiority in greater sums of suffering. Even though acne has no impact on a patient's health, many studies have shown that it will produce emotional stress that is similar to a great physical disability. It is fairly obvious why; acne hurts people more on the inside of their being then on the outside. So how come people can dismiss this as feelings of vanity?

It is not difficult to validate the effects of acne, but the difficulty lies in quantifying it. For many years researchers have been working to find an accurate scale for this particular study. The scientists have been using psychometrics that measure conditions of the mind, but have not come up with a measuring point for the psychological effects of conditions that are physical, such as acne vulgaris. Why are they unable to come up with this scale? Emotional symptoms are great low self-esteem, anger and depression can be influenced by multiple variables. They are unable to determine whether the depression is caused by just the acne, or other factors in the normal life. So as of now the best way to understand the psychosocial effects that acne is causing is just to simply, Listen.

Until science can figure out the best way for us to learn about the emotional effects of acne the best way that we can learn is by listening to what the patients have to say. Many patients have been quoted as saying that they have been unable to look into a mirror for many years because of acne. There were also quoted as saying that when their acne got worse that they started to become introverted. They felt that many people, even their parents thought that they were dirty. The patients also believe that no matter where they went, that everyone was staring at them due to their acne. As a result of acne many patients suffered from social withdrawal and family conflict.

After reading this article is clear that acne can cause severe emotional suffering. People that live with acne already know this, but it helps to know that they are not alone.