US: Dermatologists MB Sulzberger and SH Zaidems published on the psychological impact of acne in 1948. Even after more than seven decades, their words still ring true.
In addition to being a medical skin disease, acne has a negative impact on mental health.
Acne treatment for some ladies is as simple as applying concealer or a pimple patch and going about their day. It can be stressful for some people, who feel self-conscious and helpless about the pimples on their face and may avoid social situations because of it.
Acne anxiety is what these women are going through.
In a 1995 study, Dr. John Koo, a dermatologist at the University of California San Francisco Health, examined the psychological impacts of acne.
Following a series of in-depth interviews with patients, he came to the conclusion that acne can lead to lowered self-esteem, an unhealthy obsession with one’s skin, and even social disengagement.
In one participant’s case, she described her pimple as “three times bigger than it really is” and said that everyone noticed her acne first.
Anxiety over acne can be caused by or exacerbated by these psychosocial symptoms, which include feelings of worry, concern, and unease.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts determined that those who have acne are more worried than those who don’t have it, based on a 2020 meta-analysis led by Professor Danielle Samuels.
Acne-related anxiety was shown to be much higher in adults than in adolescents, according to the findings of Professor Samuels. Acne in adolescence is regarded as a normal part of growing up and even a rite of passage, but in adulthood, it makes patients feel as if they haven’t matured.
Prof. Samuels remarked that the adults felt “out of step” with their adult counterparts and “sociocultural notions that acne is an adolescent affliction.”
One study found that women are more likely to get acne than men, but they are also more emotionally affected by it, especially if it occurs at a later period in their life.
According to psychologist SC Kellett, this discrepancy between men and women is most likely the result of societal norms that place varying values on physical attractiveness. Women are more likely to be judged on their physical appearance than males are, despite the fact that both are important.
There is an expectation that we will always be assessed by others, according to two local clinical psychologists who spoke to CNA Women about acne anxiety.
Clinician psychologist Dr Karen Pooh of Alliance Counselling explains how the wiring of the human brain is predisposed toward negativity. As a result, we are constantly on the alert for signs of danger, both physical and psychological.
As a result, women bear the bulk of the burden. ‘For women, our beauty has a tremendous sense of worth.’ They will be deemed incompetent if they don’t meet a specific standard of appearance. Dr. Pooh named it the halo effect.
It is the tendency of others to allow a good attribute (such as a more attractive appearance) to influence their overall impression of a person. The more attractive you appear to others, the more favorable they view you as a person.
Acne, according to clinical psychologist Bhavani Deva of Psychology Blossom, is like clothing in that it rests on the outside of us and affects how others perceive us. However, unlike clothing, we can’t instantly alter the appearance of our skin.
As she sees it, people operate on a cognitive triangle in which their thoughts, feelings, and actions all interact. Anxiety and humiliation can set in if you have ideas about someone evaluating your skin tone.
Acne anxiety sufferers may also feel helpless if they have tried numerous therapies without success. As a result, they become more self-conscious and believe that acne is a problem that cannot be solved, said Deva.
Even said, acne anxiety isn’t always a certainty for those with the condition. Both clinical psychologists agreed that it is a matter of one’s own self-perception and one’s perception of the surrounding environment.
There is no correlation between the severity of acne and a person’s level of emotional distress. Those who place too much importance on their appearance might suffer severely from even the smallest pimple, according to Dr Pooh.
Acne nervous people can benefit from using the cue cards to keep their minds off their worries and focus on the present now.
It is recommended by Deva that those who are too apprehensive to even attempt the cue cards first try progressive muscle relaxation, which is supposed to bring immediate relief from stress.
Exhale slowly while tightening your fists together for five seconds, then slowly release them. You can then play with the cue cards after they’ve been completed.
In the event that your anxiety about acne is so severe that it interferes with your ability to shower, go to work, or socialize, Dr. Pooh recommends obtaining professional help. You should seek advice from a psychologist and engage in cognitive behavioral therapy.