Acne can often be thought of as just a rite of passage, but there is a serious side to those suffering from the condition, and it goes much further than skin-deep.
A recent study released by the British Skin Foundation has revealed that while there are obvious physical effects acne can have on a person, the mental and emotional effects can be much more serious.
According to the study, mental health concerns rise frequently among sufferers, likely as a result of being teased, bullied or verbally abused by people because of their condition, which more than half of participants reported experiencing.
More worrying still, 20 per cent of people who took part in the survey said they had entertained thoughts of suicide because of their acne and the effect it has on their lives, while a further 10 per cent said they were dismissed from their job because of their acne.
Dr. Phillip Artemi, a spokesperson for the Australasian College of Dermatologists, says that we need to be more aware of the emotional effects of acne, specifically among children and teenagers.
“When kids look at themselves in the mirror they don’t see what their parents see,” Artemi says. “They only see their pimples and hate what they see. Being a teenager can be tough enough.
“If they’re worried about their skin, and they tell you it’s upsetting them, listen to them and take action to find solutions. One of the worst thing parents can do is trivialise their child’s feelings and tell them to deal with it or that it will pass.”
Unfortunately, anxiety, stress and depression can occur in acne suffers, and those emotional states can also worsen acne. It is an unfortunate cycle of depression that results in acne, which, in turn, results in depression, which Swedish researchers also say can increase the risk of suicide attempts.
Whether it’s adult acne or the prepubescent variety, there are ways of curtailing those dark thoughts and anxious feelings.
- Eat well: Being aware of what goes inside our bodies gives us a greater appreciation of the body and what it does. Care for it by eating healthy foods that make you feel great.
- Treat your body and your mind with love: Thinking positive thoughts can do wonders. Put up affirmations around the home to inspire positive thinking.
- Get active: Exercise releases endorphins and makes us feel fantastic. Regular exercise is sure to keep your spirits high, even when you’re feeling overwhelmed about acne.
- Sleep well: A good night’s sleep can do amazing things for our health and fitness and also have an impact on our clarity of mind and a positive outlook. Make sure you get your 40 winks.
- Drink lots of water: And we mustn’t forget to stay hydrated as much as possible to help flush out all those nasty toxins in our bodies.
- Ask for help: If things are just becoming positively unbearable, don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from a dermatologist or from a health practitioner or counsellor who can help you get through things.