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Acne - Not Just a Physical Problem
Current statistics on acne are astounding; there are millions of people, world-wide, that suffer from this disease. While many might question why a simple skin disease could be so terrible, you need only to have experienced an acne outbreak yourself to understand how traumatic it can be. Acne patients have been known to suffer from a variety of psychological problems stemming from their acne, including clinical depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and social phobias. One study even suggests that acne patients suffer from more anxiety disorders and depression than many others who have more physically debilitating medical problems.
One reason for this may be the importance that many feel a society places on their physical appearance. This focus can skew an individual's feeling of self-worth if they don't match up. Media is often blamed for setting an unrealistic ideal for a person's physical appearance by showing, for instance, only those people with completely flawless skin or by using digital editing methods to make that person's skin appear perfect. This places an enormous amount of pressure on an individual to meet the perceived ideal of beauty, or sometimes even come close to their own expectations for themself. A focus on one's looks makes it much easier to become self-critical. In many cases, we can be our own harshest judge, seeing our flaws as much more noticeable than they actually are. Imperfections such as acne may become an accute source of embarrassment, especially since outbreaks may be hard to control.
Myths and misconceptions can also contribute to the psychological problems associated with acne. One myth maintains that the cause of acne is poor hygiene. On the contrary, many people with acne wash their faces several times a day in order to minimize acne-causing oil. Another acne myth is that people suffer from acne get it from eating junk food. Obviously healthy eating is better for your body and your skin, however, except in cases of food allergies or nutrient deficiencies, there is no widely accepted and direct link between the food a person eats and the presence of acne. Both these myths suggest that if you have acne, it is your own fault, and this is simply not true.
These misleading ideas can make acne a very traumatic experience. Feeling that they are being judged in social situations, acne sufferers may withdraw from events and gatherings, becoming shy and avoiding social contact. Others may respond with anger, acting rebellious to draw attention to their behaviour and away from acne-prone skin. Adults often feel particularly ashamed of their acne, since it is generally perceived to be an adolescent disease that should have disappeared by adulthood. A common complaint of many acne sufferers is that their quality of life has been compromised; the emotional and psychological stigma of acne can really take a toll on a person's self-confidence.
Fortunately, in these modern times, there is an abundance of help for acne sufferers. There are more skin care tips than ever before, and there are hundreds of products on the market, either over-the-counter topical acne treatments or prescribed acne medications. Even better, the knowledge base about acne has grown significantly, and dermatologists have identified a basic acne skin care regime that has proven helpful for many thousands of people suffering from acne. The first step is a good skin cleanser, often one containing or a gentle exfoliant to help remove dead skin cells. The second step is a toner, which neutralizes the pH of the skin and eliminates bacteria. The final step is a moisturizer, to keep the skin soft and supple. Some acne skin care regimes also add a medicated cream after the toner and before the moisturizer, to help existing acne heal more quickly. With so many acne treatment options, most people don't have to suffer from acne, and once treated, the psychological effects of the disease can also heal.
About the Author: Author C. L. Jackson wishes the topic of acne was simply an academic interest ... but unfortunately thatís not the case! You'll find much more information on this topic at the author's website www.acne-infosource.info