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 individuals to meet the perceived ideal of beauty, or sometimes even to come close to their own personal expectations for themselves. 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 acute 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 such 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 skin, it is your own fault, and this is simply not true.
By C. L. Jackson