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Does Acne Affect Your Confidence and Self Esteem?

Updated on December 21, 2017
viryabo profile image

Having less than perfect skin can affect one's self-esteem, and acne, especially, has a way of eroding confidence. Has acne changed you?

To say that acne affects more than your skin is an understatement. It can have a drastic effect on your life as well.

It will erode your self esteem and self confidence and your general outlook to life is affected, and in a subtle way apart from your battered self esteem you may have low self confidence which will make your self pride 'smashed'.

No-one can know exactly what you are going through, how you feel with this emotionally scarring problem. Acne free family and friends will never appreciate your inner turmoil and the influence it has on your life. Pimples and mild breakouts can negatively impact how you feel about yourself and sometimes can affect self esteem and self confidence.

Acne, No More A Trivial Problem

In the past, acne was a trivial problem. Why? Because we had other chronic ailments that seemed much more important and required much more attention than a 'silly old teenage problem'. We now know better, realising that acne scarring can create serious psychological problems within us. So, the emotional consequences of acne must not be taken lightly.

Self Esteem & Self Confidence. Fight Acne
Self Esteem & Self Confidence. Fight Acne

How Acne Erodes Your Confidence

If acne is your problem and it has affected your esteem, you must build your self esteem and improve your self confidence whilst fighting your acne condition. Its not that hard. All it takes is determination.

Acne patients most times have acute embarrassment which often leads to social withdrawal -this feeling prevents chronic sufferers from interacting socially- due to being self-conscious about their facial appearance.

In a world that lays great emphasis on beautiful flawless skin, as smooth as 'a baby's bottom', acne sufferers feel so uncomfortable and out of place. The sense of guilt and shame prevents an acne patient from taking photographs, partying, and frolicking with friends, to the extent that social events are avoided if possible. People with low self esteem do need to be understood.

Reunions? No! Swimming? No way!. You feel you may contaminate the pool, and you sense that people may feel the same way too. Partying? Heck No! Weddings? Maybe. Because you don't really have much of a choice. You have to be there, because you are family, so long as you can disappear into the crowd without being too loud or conspicuous, then its fine.

Opinions of Teens and Specialists

Low Self Esteem Can Influence Daily Decisions

For some acne sufferers whose self esteem and self confidence has been eroded,

it can influence their daily decisions and even their life goals. This is the power acne can wield on your body and soul.

Anxiety and depression affects acne sufferers quality of life. Interestingly, its severity does not seem to be a factor in the level of anxiety or depression.

Sufferers with mild cases of acne are just as likely to suffer from these depressive conditions as much as those with much more severe cases.

And adults feel this more than the younger folks. Probably because they have had to live with the effects of acne more than younger people, and their condition defies all forms of treatment.

Apart from this, there is a greater social stigma attached to adults with chronic acne, however most have learnt how to build their self confidence and focus on treating their acne.

How to Uplift your Spirits

The first and most important thing will be your decision to get help and fight this malaise. It is very crucial in gaining back your self esteem.

Lack of confidence dissipates once you've made this decision, AND you WILL start to feel a bit better about your condition. There will suddenly be an experience of a significant improvement in the quality of your life.

Secondly, see a dermatologist because in all honesty, acne should be treated early, before any damage to your self esteem and self confidence begins.

If you start too late, you may get used to your situation and do nothing about it. If you take this path, you are doomed because you will never live the quality life you desire. Definitely, you wont.

Thirdly, if your acne condition is so bad that your self esteem and pride is affected and you begin to suffer bouts of depression, seek counselling immediately.

You may find it beneficial. It wont be near enough to just waste a lot of money on counselling. You must be seen to combine skin care treatments with counselling as well.

Develop Esteem and Self Confidence

Finally, if all else fails, you should seek out a support program with compassionate and understanding people who know what you are going through.

They will help you to dispel feelings of isolation and hopelessness that is common amongst acne sufferers. Search online for 'Acne support groups' or, 'Acne Sufferers Forums'.

If you are at loss as to how to join such a group, your doctor may be able to refer you to a local group that helps people deal with their life with acne.

Whatever your decision may be, taking bold steps to nurture your mind while treating your skin, can help bolster your self-image and lift your self esteem and build your confidence.

© 2009 viryabo


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    • indresilkaityte profile image

      Indrė Šilkaitytė 

      3 years ago from Vilnius, Lithuania

      A very good article. Thank YOU!!! :)

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Up and Away, hi.

      First of all, you say even with your acne, some girls think you are cute. That means you have a cute face and a good nature for them to feel so. All you need to worry about is clearing your face. When you start to work on clearing it, you'll be amazed how you'll start to see some slight improvement gradually and consistently. You MUST NEVER GIVE UP ON THAT.

      Secondly, I doubt your parents will think you are crazy for asking to see a dermatologist. What is most important to you should be a clearer face.

      Keep your face clean and ensure you wash it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Yes, washing your face at night can be hard to remember, but you want a clear face, free from acne and you need to do something about it, or it won't go away.

      Try hard never to feel embarrassed. It's hard, but you can do it. Just do what you have to do.

      You seem like a very nice person that people like and that shows that its you that they love and not your face, body, what you wear, etc..

      Best of luck. I promise you, if you work on your skin with the help of your parents, in a month, you will start to see a difference.

    • profile image

      Up and away 

      5 years ago

      Hey there. I have suffered from acne since the 7th grade, im not in 9th and im 14 years young. Every time im at school im embarrassed to look at girls or talk to friends. I never look them steaight in the face, i always look down or try to cover my face. Its horrible. I don't know how some girls would think im cute because they do, but i don't think so.. Im tired of looking in the mirror every single day knowing that i have to go to school with over 3,000 kids seeing these bumps on my face. It saddens me, im not confident at all. Everyone in my family thinks im fine even though i have acne but in reality im not. Inside me is just screaming for help, wondering why my face isn't as clear as everyone else's. I don't want to tell my parents to take me to a dermatolagist because they'll look at me crazy and say everything will be fine. And that they'll buy some over the counter products, which has made it worse.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hello Akky,

      Because ice pick scars are deep holes resulting from not treating acne in its early stages, they are not that easy to eradicate.

      However, one of the best treatments i have heard of involves doing a punch excision that may close smaller pick scars.

      If the holes are large but few, you may need a minor graft. But my advice to you is to talk to a dermatologist first, and find out if such procedures will work for your skin type.

      Trust me. People will want to talk with you if you stay amiable and not self conscious. They don't really care what you look like so don't let it get to you. Many have problems as well, so its not only you. Always remember that you are blessed in other ways you may not realise.

      As long as you seek help from your dermatologist and do something about it, you can look forward to better skin in the near future. Don't buy over the counter remedies as many may not work for you.

      I wish you all the best akky. And stay positive, and work at it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i need help !! serious help.i m 20 years old

      i have ice picks sars on my face and my forehead too. these r the results of the acne i use to have since i was 17.these look ugly. Even my behavior changed after this thing happened. I cant look in the face of other people and surely they don't wanna talk to there any solution plz help.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Amare, im sorry for the late reply. If you have black "scars", which i believe may not be real deep scars but surface scarring that you get after healing of spots/pimples/acne, keep exfoliating regularly.

      With time, they will fade away.

      As long as you keep on doing what you should do to bring out healthier skin to the surface of your face, it will begin to have a healthy glow and the scars will fade off.

      The forehead ones are a bit more difficult, but with time... If the juice worked fine, continue using it but ensure its not too concentrated so it doesn't "burn" your skin. Its patience and perseverance that will make it work wonders.

      And exfoliation is key!

      Best wishes Amare.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      That's very helpful, Hub. Thanks very much!!!!! And the last question I have is what home remedies would u suggest me use to fade this black scars? I've been using lemon juice for some time and it did work but didn't fade them completely. The mark is still visible. By the way my acne is concentrated on my forehead and it looks black because of the scars.

      Thanks in advance,

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hello Amare,

      Okay i must first tell you it IS NOT that bad. And as you want to do something about it, that's even better because its a start.

      This is what i suggest you do.

      1) Try your possible best to STOP popping your spots because that is what will develop into acne. I know it is hard because it has become a habit, but you must try Amare.

      2) Make sure you treat your face diligently AND regularly, meaning keep it clean by washing with a mild soap at least 2 times a day, EVERY DAY. Morning and before going to bed is fine, but it must be regular.

      3) Use acne preventing/fighting products everyday.

      4) Set a goal. Start off with say 3 months. Work on your face regularly and you will begin to see results. Trust me.

      5) Don't feel depressed Amare, just keep doing what you have to do. its all in your hands. If you work patiently at something WITHOUT GIVING UP, you are bound to be pleased in the long run.

      And remember to channel your energy towards positive thoughts. Don't worry too much about what people think or say now. Worrying only wastes precious time needed to make yourself look good.

      Just focus on getting your face looking better. That's what should be uppermost on your mind, nothing else, apart from your studies.

      By the time you are 21, your face should look great and your self esteem boosted.

      The secret is to make a habit of working on your face always. And its not really that hard!

      Best of luck Amare

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      help!!!!!!!! Hey Guys, i had a bad acne experience so far. And I have a bad habit of popping them which left me with black scars. I'm 18 and a university student. I'm very depressed. I hated everything. Even my behavior changed after this thing happened. I cant look in the face of other people, cant take a photograph either. I always see myself as a useless boy. The worst thing is I'm very disappointed when people stare at me for so long. Sometimes, I feel like committing a suicide. The only one I have now is God. In short, I AM TOTALLY IN A WORST SITUATION!!!! Help me please, what shall I do??

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Arrianna, i know exactly how you feel because I have been there before.

      Firstly, DON'T DESPAIR. the way you feel is natural but you must now go a step further. Are you using any skincare remedy? If not, you should. Tell your mum to take you to a dermatologist.

      If you are, that's good. But then stick to it religiously Arri. And i mean that you must use whatever has been recommended to you all the time. Don't ever stop, not even for a day.

      Look in the mirror every morning and say to yourself "Im going to get rid of you bumps, and im going to work on you until i start to look good".

      And trust me, you will get good facial skin if you work on it.

      One thing though, try your very best not to feel embarrassed because that wont take them away either.

      Remember, EVERYONE has one thing or the other that's not quite right with them. Buck teeth, BO, funny toes,etc.

      In your case its only bad skin which is very easy to fight IF you are determined.

      I used to worry just like you Arri, but i always kept to my skincare regimen and it did pay off in the long run.

      Don't ever allow low self esteem to "grab" you. You will feel more encouraged when you start to see good results.

      But you only get good results when you treat acne continuously without giving up.

      Sometimes, it may seem what you use is not working or not working fast enough, but it probably will if you use it as you should for a minimum of 2 months before deciding whether its working or not.

      Don't cry about it anymore. Wipe your tears and start to work really hard to fight your acne and build your self confidence up again.

      I wish you the best of luck and a beautiful flawless skin.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My name is arrianna and I'm 14 years old I'm a freshman n highschool. I have really low self esteem. I can't even look in the mirror. Its gotten so bad tht I don't even look people in the face. I don't know what to do. I jus wanna feel pretty. I feel hideous. I tried everything :(. I'm losing hope. I just want to have clear skin. I want to have confidence again. Its so hard goin through life knowing I have all these bumps on my face. Sometimes I just wonder why did this have to happen to me. I don't want to go school because I'm not pretty like the other girls. I hate my acne..its terrible. I just sit in my room and cry.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hello John,

      Im so happy to hear this about your success. How you had acne for so many years, how you have finally combated it and how the results has boosted your self confidence.

      Well done and congratulations.

      What i can say is that your self determination, never really giving up, coupled with your dear parents assistance and guidance has gone a long way in making you achieve such wonderful results and a new lease on life.

      I can bet that you will never suffer that degree of acne again. Your determined spirit will not allow it.

      Best wishes for your senior year, college, and a brilliant future.


    • profile image

      John Doe 

      6 years ago

      I have acne and have had it since i was 12 I'm now 17 and my acne is finally starting to clear up I started off using every over the counter brand and I automatically assumed more was better but I was wrong it made everything worse. By the time I was in 8th grade my acne was terrible so i decided to go to the dermatologist and the treatments would've worked except once again i used too much product. As my acne was not improving my father who never had acne thought the dermatoligist was a waste of money so I stopped going right before I went to high school. I had no self confidence starting high school and it affected my ability to meet new friends because I was not only nervous about high school but I kept thinking to my self no one will like me if I look like this. I tried proactiv and it made things better for awhile than after about 4 to 5 months my acne was worse than ever and the proactiv wasn't working. That was during my sophomore year and after that my mother who also suffered from acne took me to the dermatologist without my father knowing and this is when things started to improve I followed all the doctors directions exactly and used moisturizer (it helps a ton). Now I'm 17 and my acne is almost completely gone and I'm noticing more self-confidence and girls actually talk to me and I hear them saying how cute I've gotten. I'm starting to meet new people and more friends and hoping to be acne free for my senior year and college after having acne take away 2 years of my high school life

    • andrebreynolds profile image


      7 years ago

      THanks for this hub, this is very useful hub.

    • SamboRambo profile image

      Samuel E. Richardson 

      7 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

      Not having suffered acne, this was revealing. My S-E drop was due to a pill I had to take that rendered me a zombie, and therefore a dummy in school. Nice hub.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks Daniela, and thanks for visiting.


    • Daniela Daljac profile image

      Daniela Daljac 

      8 years ago from AUSTRALIA

      This is very helpful hub. Thanks!!

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Marisa, thanks for your comments, and that is a great tip you just gave me now that i think about it.

      You may be right, i'll see what i can do about that.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thank you Earnestshub for the nice comments. I'm glad to be of some help.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      9 years ago from Sydney

      Good advice, although I worry about that word "aggressive". I'd prefer something like "pro-active". Some people might interpret this as a call to treat the skin aggressively with harsh products, which as you know, can often make matters worse.

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great hub. My son has acne, and it is affecting his self image. I have shown him this article, and he is off to see a dermatologist next week. Thanks for the data!


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