Are the lasting effects of acne more than just skin deep? The teen years are a trying time for any person. Although the worries and cares of adulthood are still far into the future, the teen is not exactly a happy and relaxed person. The carelessness and ignorance of childhood makes room for rebellion and questions about one’s values and place in the world. Looking for their own road through life teens feel insecure and, often enough, misunderstood. Unfortunately, if the search for a place under the sun is not enough, teenagers also have to deal with other problems, such as acne. This unsightly condition is the bane of many teenagers because of the effects it has at psychological level. It doesn’t take a lot to foster a negative self image in a teenager. Most of them are at least somewhat insecure about their outward appearance because of various real or imaginary blemishes. But a real condition that causes true discomfort and mars a young face is something else altogether. The fragile self image and self respect of teenagers are hard pressed to cope with the pressure exerted by the opinions of others and the comparisons with various role-models that teenagers find for themselves. In extreme cases, the negative self image turns into self hatred and the disfiguring condition is seen as a cruel instrument of self punishment for failing to rise up to some standard or other. Teenagers live in small worlds. Parents, friends and the amorphous group of half-familiar school mates are the limits of their social lives. Naturally, teenagers tend to attach more importance to the praise or criticism coming from their friends or school mates, on grounds that parents love you anyway and are fatally biased. But, since teens can be very cruel to each other, the criticism of school mates is frequently unkind and meant to hurt. This serves to increase the feelings of anxiety, insecurity and self hatred, resulting in withdrawal from the social environment into a private world of pain and shame. Teenagers are terribly earnest about outward appearances and criticism. They are still away from the age when human beings come to terms with themselves and are no longer much interested in what others say or think. Hiding one’s body or face and feeling ashamed just because somebody else said that this is the thing to do is a mistake and teenagers should be helped to see this. Acne can be defeated with persistence and by using the right products. However, the psychological effects of acne must also be fought, or else they may never go away. The teenager who hated himself for having pimples on his face will turn into the adult who hates himself for being a little overweight or not making as much money as some co-worker. The feeling of discomfort and shame with oneself does not always go away in time. Sometimes it just finds a new problem to act as its power source. This is the lasting effect of acne: a poor self image, a lack of confidence and a feeling of being at a disadvantage when comparing oneself to other people. These moods and mindsets can ruin anybody’s social life and often they also get in the way of professional development. Unfortunately,
acne is not just skin deep.
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