As an acne sufferrer, I went through my teenage phase with poor self-esteem and anxiety. I’m a shy person, and acne just make it even worse. My puberty filled with constant bitterness and hatred toward myself. Constantly compared myself to others and spent days staring at my reflection in the mirror with wishful thinking that those bumps, tiny zits, blemishes, and redness all over my face would go away. But the wish remain ungranted. I still go through it into my adulthood, which is succkkss….
Went through adolescence with skin problem is totally damaging my self esteem. I was scared of meeting new people. I didn’t go out like any other teenagers. I socially withdrew from surrounding. And i avoid family gathering as good as i could. I didn’t want them to see my face and comment on my acne. It had happened to me for many many times before and it traumatizes me ever since.
People can be rude and didn’t realize they are being rude. I’ve met this kind of people throughout my years of being an acne sufferer. There are people who can’t keep their mouth shut and say whatever come up to their mind at that very moment. As someone who’ve struggled with acne for many years, i have come to terms to deal with their annoying remarks. This was harder back then, when i was a fragile-overly sensitive 17 years old girl. Their comment lingered in my mind and upset me for few days. Their words absolutely destructive for my teenage self as i grew into a young adult with negative self-image.
Fortunately, those were things in the past. My skin condition has taught me a lot on being someone who don’t base her self worth on appearance. I’ve grown out of it (kind of). I no longer anxious when people bring up my acne problem into conversation. I can open up and more comfortable when someone asks what happened to my face. Something that younger me would find offensive and hurtful.
I guess i’ve grown used to it. I used to avoid to talk about my acne. I avoided to started conversation with people as i frightened they would comment on my skin and the discussion revolved around it instead of talking about another topic. And now? I’ve learned to cope with that. To deal with resentment and embarassment when talking about my facial flaw. Well, i don’t say that i no longer feel scared and anxious if people, out of the blue, point out this topic in the middle of conversation. However at least i’m not as hurt and avoidant as i was.
This is the thing that i’ve always wanted to say to everyone ,but have no gut to do. Dear people, it would be very nice of you if you don’t ask to someone who suffer from acne what the hell happened with their skin. You might wonder why their face turn red and breakout. They already feel terrible, and asking what’s wrong will just rubbing salt into the wound. Especially, when you haven’t seen them in a long time, and that’s the very first word you say? I get that you might wonder why someone who used to have nice skin look completely different when you meet them again. But still, asking what happened as conversation opener is an instant turnoff. Moreover, if you say it loud in front of many people. Oh please, have some decency.
Not once did people suggest that i should try this and that. Convinced me that it would work because it worked for them.While i do thank them for their suggestion, i should be aware of what i put on my face. The problem is, some products they advise me to try contain ingredients that do more harm than good to my skin. Which end up will make my acne worse. It should also keep in mind that not all acne is the same. What works well with someone with mild acne would do nothing to severe acne. Most people have no idea there are different types of acne. Some can easily combat by using over-the-counter acne products, some are harder and required more aggressive treatment as well as taking antibiotics.
Saying that acne can easily tackle just by washing your face won’t only annoy us as acne sufferer, it also seems like trivializing the issue. Not many people know that wash your face can worsen acne if it’s overdone. Fighting acne is tricky and it won’t easily go away just by cleansing. If combating acne is that simple, there wouldn’t be people who depressed and having suicidal thought because they struggle so much with acne.
Battling with acne since high school. I’ve dealt with many people who are oblivious of their words and behaviour. They don’t realize what they’re doing and saying can hurt others. I still remember many years ago, in family gathering, my aunt out of the blue said loudly that i should rub lime on my face for my acne remedy. And she said so in front of many family members. Her words unavoidably drew everyone attention to me. And i was there, sat, stunned, tried to took it lightly by faking a smile while everyone’s eyes were on me. I know that she might just want to help by suggesting what to do to get rid of this nasty things on my face. But the way she did it, instead of helpful, was rude and impolite.
Life is not easy for someone who endure acne. Treating acne itself is already stressful, then you also have to deal with people asking you questions. Make it even more stressful. You’ll hear the same question over and over again. “what happened?”, “have you tried…?” and other redundant questions. Acne isn’t only ruin facial beauty, it can also ruin one’ social life. Someone can turn into an avoidant and refrain himself from social activities. This is who i was in my younger years. I became cautious and scared of meeting people as they would stare at my pimple and focus on it instead of what i said.
It’s also difficult to overcome judgement and perceptions toward acne sufferers. People think if you have acne then, you’re not hygienic. You’re someone who are lazy to take care of your skin which of course not necessarily true. You can be the most hygienic person on earth and still have acne. It’s complicated issue that not just related to skin condition. It can also sign of hormone imbalance which most people not aware of. And the cure is not as simple as washing your face.
So people, if you happened to have friends or family members who struggle with acne, the best is to not talk about that when you meet them. We’ve been asked numerous times about it, so it’d be helpful if you avoid this topic in conversation.
What about you? Have you ever experienced the same things as an acne survivor? Drop your comment below.