Emotional and Psychological Effects of Acne
With most acne developing during puberty, the changes that teens go through are compounded by blemishes and scars. Acne not only affects their physical appearance but also impacts their emotional health. Even in adults, acne can have severe emotional and psychological effects.
Skin ailments are near impossible to hide. When we have them on our face, we know that the whole world sees them. This causes an intense emotional impact, as well as a surge in our stress levels. It influences our mental and psychological health in many ways.
Low Self Esteem
Acne can be a challenge to cover up, especially severe acne. It affects self-esteem and makes people feel self-conscious. Not to mention, some people can be highly critical of others when it comes to skin blemishes. Because of these factors, some might avoid social interactions just so they will not be bullied or shamed about not having perfect skin. For teens, this is a big blow to their esteem and leads to loss of confidence. As a result, they tend to withdraw from society or exhibit some behavioral changes. Examples of these include growing their hair long to cover their face or exhibiting signs of depression. Some changes are slight, however, and are often attributed to puberty.
Mood Swings and Anger
Acne can also result in mood changes in a person. One can be so excited when hanging out with friends then become downhearted in a wink because of a seemingly innocent comment about their appearance.
While it may sound extreme to some people, acne can also trigger feelings of anger, especially in teens. It could start with frustration over their inability to find effective solutions to clear their skin. Then it can escalate into hating oneself and everyone else around them who do not understand their frustration. They might also start to hate those who judge other people based on looks.
Fear and anxiety
Because of the flawed standard for flawless skin set by our society, those who have acne tend to fear being scrutinized by their peers for their blemished skin. They become anxious when attending social events and even when just going to school or their workplace. They also dread having to speak to people and may miss opportunities due to this, so they tend to keep to themselves or stay cooped in their rooms.
Feelings of Depression
Acne can also trigger feelings of depression. This can manifest as social withdrawal such as avoiding gatherings or events. If your teen often retreats to the bedroom instead of spending time with other family members, you may want to reach out to them. In some cases, teens can start having poor academic performance, like refusing to do assignments or skipping class, or worse, engaging in harmful behavior.
Even adults who suffer from acne can experience depression due to this. Many miss out on work opportunities especially those requiring interaction with customers. They may also be improperly judged because of how their skin looks.
If you or anyone you know is showing symptoms of depression, it’s best to seek help and consult a professional.