How Scars from Acne Affect Emotional & Mental Health
The Psychological Effect
While an acne scar affects physical appearance, studies have shown that it also has an impact on a person’s psychological well being.
Adolescents who are going through puberty and who value the acceptance of their peers more than anything else, may find themselves rejected because of how they look. And for people who have suffered with acne for years, depression may creep into their psyche as a result of frustration and stressing over numerous acne and acne scar treatments that have failed to cure the disorder.
People with a serious case of acne scars tend to have poor body image. As a result, they may avoid joining activities that put them in the spotlight, such as performing on stage, or speaking in public, which hinders their self-development. They may also feel embarrassed about changing or disrobing with other people, thus, a recreational swimming activity at the resort or the beach will not be fun for them. Acne sufferers may be occupied with covering up their face by keeping their hair longer, wearing caps, hats or make-up to disguise the scars.
Ashamed of the way they look, people with bad acne usually avoid eye contact and may have difficulty building relationships for fear that they will be ridiculed or rejected. Their self-confidence is obviously so shot down, that they may exhibit shyness, reclusiveness, and other negative behaviors. If this is not addressed properly, it can lead to depression and anxiety.
Acne suffers who cannot handle their condition emotionally and mentally may do poorly at school or work, and risk opportunities that may make their lives better. This physical disorder can translate to feelings of unworthiness, which is why they may refuse to go to school for fear of being teased or have no motivation to do any school work. They may pass on promotions or job applications thinking their employers may be turned off by their skin condition.
A dermatologist can prescribe topical treatments to manage acne scars on the surface, but a mental health professional must be consulted if an acne breakout is already causing emotional and mental distress.
For a while, people believed that chemical ingredients in these topical treatments trigger the depression. But as studies have proven otherwise, it’s actually the impact of having acne that seems to bring out these untoward feelings of self-perception.
The acne patient may have to undergo therapy sessions, in groups or individually, to handle the effects of acne, physically and emotionally. It is also important for the experts to help build this person’s self-confidence through constant counseling.
The psychiatrist may also prescribe medication to deal with depression and may suggest altering lifestyles by giving up vices like smoking and drinking, or change diet and eating habits.
Physical scars as a result of acne may already be difficult to treat, but the scars it leaves emotionally have more damaging effects. Before the problem gets worse, it’s always best to seek help from the experts as soon as the symptoms and warning signs appear.
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