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Readers Respond: How Has Acne Affected Your Life?

Responses: 96


Updated March 25, 2013

From the article: Acne and Your Self Esteem

Not all acne scars are ones you can see. Although acne is a skin problem, the effects of acne can extend much deeper. For many, acne negatively influences their self-esteem and self-image.

How has having acne affected you?

Are you less confident and more reserved? Do you spend more time (and money) on makeup, or run from family photo-ops? Or has acne not changed the way you feel about yourself at all? Share your thoughts, feelings, and what you do to boost your self-esteem.

Share Your Thoughts

Light at the end of the tunnel

I'm 21 and have had acne since I was 11. Every time I would think it was bad, it would get worse. My skin is the worst that it has ever been right now - I am choking up as I write this. I have a boyfriend but he liked me back when my acne was really nothing to worry about. Everyday I think about breaking up with him because I don't want him to see my face without makeup. This all being said, I have hope for the future. It may all suck now but knowing that there are other people out there who are going though the same things, makes me feel that much better. So thank you all for sharing. I hope in a few years we can all come back here and tell future acne sufferers that it'll be alright. Perhaps acne is a daily reminder of our struggles but it is also a daily reminder of how strong we are. Focus on being the best you because one day the acne and the spots will fade but who you are as a person will remain. Stay strong, my darlings.
—Guest Liz

Scars deeper than the skin

It's hard to some up in words what acne can do to your confidence, how it can turn the life you once knew upside down. When people think of conditions or illnesses that effect people's life dramatically they think of things like disabilities which i dont deny isn't devastating but it seems like acne is down played. Having acne has changed the way I see the world immensely. You learn to judge people by their character and not their appearance because deep down that's what you hope they'd do for you. I'm 19 now and since the age of 14 I have suffered, for some periods of time I have had relatively clear skin but at others times it has been bad enough for me to confine myself to my room and exclude myself from social activities. I even avoided going to university as a result of it because I couldn't get the courage to put myself out the there to new people again. Some people may read this and think I'm a coward , but to them I would you say you just don't understand the hell.
—Guest Peter

I wish my skin was clear

Hi, I'm Richard, I'm 20 years old. I've been suffering with acne for 3 years since I graduated from high school. I'm just thinking how lucky my friends are for having such clear skin without putting any effort on it like I did. I've tried a lot of products and spent much money on skin care and also dermatologist, but it seemed like it's not going to clear up soon. I tried using make up, and it made my acne worse. Since I don't have any confidence to show people how worse my acne is, I still wear make up when I'm out of house. Sometimes I got asked "are u wearing make up?" by my friends, felt so bad when they asked about it since I am a guy. And now I don't know why, I feel like giving up on putting much attention for my skin, all I can do is just cry while looking at the mirror. I wish my skin was clear as it was.
—Guest Richard Paul Rambitan

Awful skin ruining life for 20+ years

I am 34 and I've had acne since I was 11 years old. It has destroyed my self-esteem. I want to be able to live a normal life, but it's hard to do that when everybody points out how bad you look. As if I wasn't already self-conscious enough, I've had friends call me "pizza face", strangers call me "pimple face", and doctors recoil in disgust. I had one doctor ask me "what happened to you? it looks really bad!" and another tell me I was experiencing a dermatological emergency. I took heavy duty antibiotics for months and applied prescribed strong topical steroids to try to get rid of the problem. All I got was a ruined digestive system and my skin breaking apart and falling off from the steroids. I feel like this is interfering with my ability to live a normal life. I don't want people to look at me. I avoid work as much as possible. I don't go out with friends any more. I'm basically a hermit, and it's making me feel really depressed.
—Guest Sad

I wish I could have my old skin back

I have got mild acne and I know this isn't a serious problem but I feel really bad about it and I am just waiting for a miracle to happen. My skin used to be flawless and I used to be the girl with no breakouts but now a lot has changed. I don't use makeup on my skin and I don't try and touch my pimples because I know it will just irritate it and I will look worse. I wish I could have my old skin back, I really miss it. I will do something about this though, and often I do envy the girls at school who have flawless skin but I just don't get it how they are going through hormonal changes yet they don't suffer through acne or anything. I really feel for those who have pimples or acne because it just puts your self esteem down so much and you can't seem to do anything about it. I've just tried using home remedies such as honey, lemon and milk but honestly I think it has just made it worse. Some of the pimples on my face have left marks and scars on my face. Don't ever give up though :) xx
—Guest Jamie

Slowly getting better

I've been fighting acne for about 5 years and it's very annoying. All of my friends have clear skin and then there's me. I've just started clean and clear which has been helping with my zits but now I can see all the scars from before when I used to pop them. It looks bad most of the time in natural lighting. But I've come to realize that it's not what's on your face that makes you...it's what's in your heart. So now I have a much better and outgoing attitude about everything and that makes me feel more beautiful. I am now dating someone who is very sweet and he has made me realize that acne doesn't/shouldn't really matter to others. When we are old, we will be all wrinkly and stuff so what's the difference? Everyone needs to just be proud of who they are. The other day when I was having a small breakout on my face, I had several people tell me I looked nice. And it was basically because of my personality. So therefore, have a great personality and people will focus on that.
—Guest Lynn

This does not define you

Who you are is so much more than a face with acne. I've suffered from it for long enough to be use to it, and though it has impeded my social experience, though I've missed out on opportunities because of a severe lack in confidence, I now understand that it is not acne that made this possible, but the limitations I placed on myself because of it. I know the last thing you want to hear is "it's not as bad as you think" and "its going to pass." It use to annoy me when people told me my skins really clearing up because it just meant that that's what they usually notice. But man, if you let it overwhelm you then it's effect becomes much more severe than it should be. Do all you can do, then let it be. Extenuate your positive features, make yourself over confident to make up for your lack of it, give yourself entirely to your work, trade, art or sport. Life is really too short for bad days, so do your best not to have them. I have felt your despair, may you now share my happiness :)
—Guest Dru

Hope it goes away

My acne started when I was in 7th grade. Every now and then I would get a pimple and I would say it was nothing. It would go away but people would point them out and I would act like I didn't care but when I got home I would feel like crying. When I would take a shower I would scrub my face really hard until I would bleed a lot from my pimples and it would hurt. I would keep saying that it's was my fault for not eating healthy but when I tried to it didn't work. I tried everything but nothing would work. That's when my world fell apart and i gave up. I just didn't care about it. Sometime I would cry going to sleep and sometime wished I could die and every night I would pray to god to make it go away but it wouldn't. Now I'm in the 8th grade and I still get picked on by a group of girls that hate me and say that I need proactive all the time and when I get home I cry because I feel that everyone thinks that. Then when I talk to people everyone stared at my acne and I just wish it could go away and never come back.
—Guest Hope it hoes away

Positive thought

I have had every type of acne you can think of since I was 11 (from puss filled surface pimples to severe cystic acne) and it used to really bring me down, I tried every lotion and potion there is (proactiv, accutane etc.) *The accutane actually really helped but now that I have discontinued my useage of the drug my acne has come back not as bad as it was but managable. In my six years of having acne one thing I hadn't learnt to do and only doing now is thinking if this, acne, is the hardest thing I will have to experience in my life then a few pimples here and there are ok by me. Dont let it get to you guys, people generally dont mind if you have acne, please go smile and have a nice day.
—Guest Dan

I'm so insecure :(

I've had acne since 5th grade but it was only a few small pimples. It started showing up more in 6th grade but I didn't mind because we were small and people wouldn't judge. But when I got to 7th grade my acne got really worse. I was the only 7th grader with acne & I felt ugly & insecure. People would look at me & say what was wrong with my face & people would bully me about my acne. In 8th grade my acne calmed down a bit. I felt a little better because I wasn't the only one with acne. But I just feel really insecure. I feel like nobody likes me that nobody wants to be my friend. I just wish my acne would go away :( Sometimes I cry myself to sleep. My mom tells me not to worry about it. But how can I not? She doesn't know how it feels having acne. She doesn't know what they say to me. I feel like nobody likes me :(
—Guest Ana

Disappointed as hell

I have had my acne for like four years now. Nothing worked, they just promise and all the products were at fail as if the science advanced for no good. I have good hair, good dressing sense, good nature, overall a fine personality but that all goes to vain just because of my acne scars. Guys only go for clear skin. Like seriously none of the guys asked me out ever after meeting me in person. Some of them would fall for me on text messages, but then on meeting up they feel utter disappointment... I guess and this is so sad... I don't want to wear make up because I don't wanna have those deceiving looks. All I'm gonna do is get a laser when I start earning :'(
—Guest Prat.

Lost my confidence

I've lost all my confidence due to acne. When I see a girl I find attractive in anyway, I don't even bother because I feel that she'll only see my horrible skin. It's leaving scars behind as well which will haunt me even if my acne were to go away.
—Guest FD

Ruined it..

I'm 34 and have been dealing with acne for 20 years. It completely destroys your self-esteem. You don't want to put yourself out there in any way...for jobs, for relationships..because you feel not as good as everyone else. You don't have the confidence to go for anything. So you sit around barely living life. Not even wanting to go out with friends because you feel so ugly. And you want to live life, and you do everything you can to look better...drink a gallon of water every day, eat just fresh fruits and vegetables, take a bunch of vitamins, get chemical peels, buy all the creams...and nothing works. You still don't look like a normal human being no matter how hard you try. So you think what is the point of even trying. What's the point of anything. God must hate you to punish you like this. Why keep living when you aren't free to live life? When you can't even take care of yourself because you aren't confident enough to land a job. When you have to live like a hermit.
—Guest Stirred

I know how you feel

Ive been suffering from severe acne since 5th grade. I was the only student to have acne and everyone would look at it. Now Im in 8th grade and when i talk to people, I feel like they arent looking at me, they are looking at my skin. I still am found attractive by the females, and I am still able to socialize with others. But with my acne, its just difficult. Nothing has worked for me (pills, topical treatment, diet) and i kind of gave up a while ago. I feel like im just gonna have to live with having this skin. My friends just wake up with clear, perfect skin without having to wash it at all. I make a huge effort to get my skin looking its best, yet its dry, flaky, and covered with red acne. You're not alone. we are acne sufferers and those with clear skin just dont understand how it is.
—Guest OG

Acne Ruined Everything

It all started in 7th grade, my face wasn't that bad and I was getting a few pimples every now and then. What I didn't realize was that I wasn't taking care of my skin well because I was eating junk food most of the time. Now I regret everything and look back how that would of made a big difference in my life. Now I'm In 11th grade still suffering from severe acne. I can't look at my mirror anymore, I can't even look at my parents. I feel like a monster whenever I go out, and I always need to wear makeup. I lost all my self-esteem and pride all thanks to acne, but I'm not giving up. No matter how hard I try I will always try something to make my face better and for everyone struggling with acne just hang in there, It's a tough battle that we can't give up.
—Guest Depressed Guy

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How Has Acne Affected Your Life?

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