A Face to Die for – Acne and Suicide

How do you take it if somebody says they want to kill themselves because of their acne? When thinking about the contributing factors to suicide a lay person’s fast list might look like- divorce or break up, financial problems, drug abuse, chronic depression, grief over death of loved one and many more such tragedies. If you know anything about actual suicide facts and statistics you should take it very seriously.

For the majority of people acne means a 3-4 year period of having to wash their face a few times a day with a very mild soap or antiseptic cleanser, the embarrassment of an oversized pimple on picture day, school dance, or long anticipated date, and perhaps a few rude comments about the alien growth that appeared overnight on their face. For most, as they finish high school or by the time they enter their twenties, acne is typically no more than a very mild inconvenience and a sense of relief at having made it through that awkward stage.

Life is not so kind to all, however. There are some people where no amount of cleanser and face clarifying lotions and potions have any effect. Endless outbreaks of painful and sometimes disfiguring pimples and pustules go on for years from the onset of puberty and sometimes continue on well into their twenties or longer.

The Pain Caused by Acne  

It would be bad enough if it were simply dealing with the pain and discomfort, but the physical issues is often said to be the lesser pain when compared with the emotional abuse heaped upon them by others – those that look for ways to tease, embarrass or inflict pain on their peers for no reason other than a perverse feeling of by making others feel worse. These bullies are simply looking to improve their place in the world or their own self of self esteem. Sadly, it proves more impossible to eradicate this sort of person than even the seemingly impossible to control acne some have the misfortune of being afflicted with.

Where the real issue comes from with acne is the emotional pain and scarring that runs much deeper than the superficial scars on their skin. While the reality may be that there are relatively few who are so shallow or just mean enough to use the acne as an excuse to tease and bully, this few makes those suffering feel like that is the way all see them. It often even makes them begin to see themselves as deformed or ugly. Some  claim disgust at seeing their own face and will not go swimming or shorts for fear of exposing back, legs, o other places afflicted with acne or the scarring it has left.

This is where a common physical illness that the majority of people experience to some degree becomes a mental health issue of the most serious kind- the kind where a person feels the self-loathing or perceives disgusts from others that makes them think that death is preferable to living. While difficult to prove, it can be reasonably surmised based on discussions of the feelings that the acne was never the issue at all. They did not decide to attempt suicide because a few pimples or even because of 1000 pimples- they became suicidal because the way they were made to feel while trying to deal with this physical condition.

There are many things that over the years have become taboo. Even the school-yard bully typically will avoid blatant teasing of a person in a wheelchair or similar issue. Acne is one of those leftover areas that are overlooked as acceptable fodder for jokes and bullying. Perhaps because most suffer from some degree at some point they can claim to empathize or understand however that occasional oversized pimple for a couple days is no comparison to years of outbreak and lifelong physical scarring. This claim of “everybody has it – so I am not picking on anybody”  would be unbelievable if it were not so frequently upheld as a reasonable defense so the cruel jokes are ignored and it is implied the individual being taunted needs to “toughen up” instead of action taken against the one inflicting the pain.

Treatments and Reducing the Pain of Acne  

The treatment of severe acne involves both the physical treatment of the affliction and the mental health component that often is the result of being subjected to ridicule and emotional pain Amplified by the fact it occurs during the developmental years of puberty early adulthood when a person begins to form their self-image.

Treating the Physical Symptoms

The physical treatment comes in 2 basic forms which are discussed in great detail in many places, but should also be talked to with your health care provider. Self-care, which involves best practices for treatment and prevention of acne and maintaining healthy skin. These involve the typical over the counter washes and antiseptics and extra hygiene care for those prone to acne as well as dietary concerns recommendations. The cost of this type of treatment can vary greatly with many acne treatments for even over the counter care costing $100 or more per month. To help reduce the costs, home remedies are available for those willing to research, but you should always discuss home remedies with a doctor and careful research for their safety as well as effectiveness.

To make this care affordable, it is always a good idea to look at what treatments are available and to carefully shop for these treatments. Many retailers specialize in treatments and have special programs that can be used to reduce costs. Using discount codes and coupons can save a lot of money if you are willing to shop around. Home remedies can be highly effective money savers too if caution is used to ensure safety. There are hundreds of home treatments found with internet searches but stick to things that your doctor can tell you are safe to try.

The other physical treatments are real medical treatments from a dermatologist with prescription medications. These medications include specific very strong treatments of acne for various skin types. There are hormone treatments, such as birth control pills to control the hormones that often trigger acne as well a specific range of high potency acne medications available by prescription only. These are effective at treating acne effectively  in many cases but also carry risks of substantial side effects.

Some common acne medications (such as Accutane/Isotretinoin among others) may even cause increased risk of mental health issues such as increased feelings of suicidal behavior. This is perhaps another reason that acne is listed as a cause of suicide. Studies have shown however that suicide as a result of acne is a reality regardless of treatment. Use of these medications must be carefully supervised by your doctor or dermatologist. Make you are well informed of all potential benefits as well as risks before choosing this type of treatment.

What types of treatment are there for acne scars? Acne scars may be treated with laser treatments but they are expensive and sometimes painful for the person receiving treatment. Dermabrasion and dermarolling are also possible helpful treatments for scars from past acne. Botox, another pricey route to controlling the deeper scars of acne is very effective as a treatment and takes several courses of treatment. A treatment approach that looks worse before it gets better is receiving a chemical peel. This approach essentially a multi layer system of taking off layers of skin over a period of 4 visits which, hopefully, improve the appearance of the skin at the end. Speaking with a dermatologist is likely the best route to determining what the best option is for each person.

Treating the Emotional Pain of Acne

The last few paragraphs may have led some readers to believe that feeling suicidal because of acne can be easily fixed by simple medical or home treatment. The real issue with acne and the deep emotional pain caused from having suffered the teasing and personal image issues caused from dealing with acne is in part due to the fact so many believe it can be easily treated and “is not really a big deal”. The fact that for some acne is an inconvenience that may be joked about after the fact as “just part of growing up” does not in any way help those that have more severe or long term physical issues. This stems from people who don’t understand the lasting impact on those acne has affected throughout their lives.

It is hard to deal with emotional scarring if the physical scars are still there every time a person looks in the mirror. Even if one treats the physical scars, the emotional scars still must be dealt with. The biggest psychological issue is the self-perception of being ugly or disgusting based on the way they were treated by others in adolescence while developing their own self-esteem and identity.

Negative comments resound far louder in most people than the positive and, of course, no comment makes a no impression. This means that even though the vast majority of people are not disgusted or bothered at all by another person’s acne and that during a poll, (these people cite they only feel sympathy) the individual is far more affected by the very small minority that make the rude and painful comments. If 100 people do not mention the acne at all because they are not “turned off” or “bothered” by seeing a persons skin, and 1 person says “pepperoni face” or some other insult, the individual feels like the other 99 also thought that. Further, they see themselves and find it “ugly” so decide for themselves they are ugly. This is because we all are far more critical of ourselves than anyone else. How often are we judging others about their physical attributes in this way? Not terribly often yet we believe others are doing it to us.

The treatment for long term emotional pain and mental health issues of self-hate and dysphoria is best addressed through counseling with a professional therapist. If that is not possible because of cost or due to other reasons then there are self-help and self-awareness books and online programs that may help. The self-treatment however is very difficult when the actual issue is that a person dislikes or has a low opinion of themselves. If you had a low opinion of a doctor or therapist, you would not likely listen to what they have to say. If that applies to yourself than trying to convince yourself is equally difficult.

Trying to keep perspective and understanding that jokes on sitcoms are not reflective of world opinion, and the incidents of people that actually were rude about you appearance compared to the hundreds and thousands more people you met that were not is hard, but can be done. Ignoring the negative is easy advice to give and near impossible to follow. What would the advice be if the roles were reversed?

It may however be possible to realize with careful self-analysis that the emotional pain you are feeling about the acne whether it is present or in the past – the pain is being caused by yourself and how you feel about things far more than what others may have said or thought. We cannot make people say something different or think something different but we can influence our own thoughts to try to decide that you are not going to be cruel to yourself just because somebody else has been. Do not let the shallowness and cruelty of a small few become your own shallowness or cruelty towards yourself. Try to get some support or help through friends, family, or peer support instead of isolating. The acne does not kill people, it is their own thoughts and those are cruel thoughts they are having about themselves if they want to kill over the acne, even if it is themselves.

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  • I started having acne in grade school. It just got worse. I’ll never forget going to school everyday trying to hide from everyone, feeling like people were teasing me. Feeling lower than low, a piece of crap, useless, etc. It just eats away at you. Day after day, year after year, decade after decade. I’m 47 now and still have acne. The pain AND the acne does NOT just go away after 3-4 years of washing your face.

    • I was, and still am in a similar situation as you. My acne has also gotten much worse as I’ve gotten older, and began around middle school. I have tried hundreds of over-the-counter products, as well as having seen a dermatologist a couple times (now several years ago). It’s horrible going out and feeling as if that’s all people see. This article is right about the pain felt. Acne has caused me so much physical AND emotional pain, and nothing has helped get rid of the acne itself, for good. It’s very frustrating.

    • I’ve had acne since I was 10 years old, and I still do, 11 years later. I tol myself I would be a normal person at 21 years old,but guess what? I’m still a freak. People kept telling me it’ll go away, but it hasn’t. I’ve tried dozens of medications, I’ve seen specialists at my mom’s insistence, and I know I’m privileged as skit to have done that. But I’m still ugly as hell, with no way to fix it. I don’t know what to do. My sister has acne and is beautiful, my brother does and has a long-term girlfriend. I have for 10 years and have no one to tell me I’m worth anything but my mom. What am I doing wrong? Why should I keep pretending I can have a real life?

    • I’m 13 years old but I had acne since I was 8. It’s tough being the only person at my school with acne that can go from mild to severe. My mom still has acne and she’s in her late 40’s so every time we go to the dermatologist they say I’m going to end up just like her or worse. That comment hurts, I just want clear skin so a boy can call me pretty and so I have more self esteem. Everyone says it’ll go away in the future, but what if it doesn’t, what if I’m stuck with this face with acne for the rest of my life. Will anyone love me with this face? Does it ever get better?

  • I’m 40 and still have severe acne. I trust that I will always be alone as much as I trust in gravity.

    I’ve heard that we don’t fully develop our capacity for empathy until our 20s – something about how brain chemistry develops. So that’s (if we’re lucky, I guess) 16 years of school/college interacting with peers who at best are probably just happy they aren’t like us… At worst, it’s south park and lord of the flies. Which really sets us up well for the rest of our lives.

  • Anyone ever read ‘Ham on Rye’? It’s the autobiography of poet Charles Bukowski. He grew up poor, got acne vulgaris at puberty–which developed into boils and cysts all over his face–and he pretty much remained that way until his 40’s. Same with me–the boils and cysts started busting out all over at age 13 and remained for the next fifteen years. And NOTHING ever fuckng worked, not even the meds the dermatologist recommended (tip: if your dermatologist gives you meds for acne and they don’t work, demand different meds or find another dermatologist. And, for the record, face cream junk is worthless.) So, yeah, I had all sorts of Black Thoughts, culminating in the fantasy that somehow I could maybe get all my facial skin surgically removed. Dating was practically nil–although people may have sympathy, no one wants to kiss a pustulated mess–and after umpteen rejections you figure “Why bother?” (and the most support you get from your fucking clean-skinned family members is “Why don’t you wash your face?!” Bravo…) I finally got cured at age 28 because–by a miracle–someone recommended a dermatologist who actually knew what he was doing and prescribed me something called minocycline (capsule form.) After a taking this medication for a couple weeks, the boils started to fade away and eventually disappeared. My relief was indescribable, but it took probably another 5 years for me to get my shit together socially; I mean, when you have boils and cysts covering your face and someone is nice to you, chances are they only WANT something from you (a ride, a loan, your study notes, you substituting for their shift at work) and if you try talking to them a second time, you don’t exsit for them, and this same shit happens year after year. So, yeah, whenever I see a kid with severe acne or a weight problem, my heart just aches because I know exactly what he or she is going through–the self-loathing is damn near unbearable.

  • I suffered from acne until I was about 32 years old. It was terrible. Sometimes I would even get them on my genitals as well.

    Lots of times, my face would be clear except for one giant zit that would immediately draw attention to my face and make me extremely self cautious. Often times I missed college classes, important events, and it was completely humiliating. I tried several dermatologists then finally found Sulfect-R from a acne clinic(that I had to find myself because no doctor knew of the clinic). I guess I live in a big city-Toronto. But still. The bitterness, shame, and damage to self esteem has definitely hurt me. I am 35 and never had a girlfriend before.

    YA, acne is tough my heart goes out to those sufferers.

  • I have acne scars and this article reflected some of the emotions I have. I had it very young at the age of 9. As a result of this my self esteem is very low. However I am currently getting microdermabrasion to try to eliminate the scars. I feel after these ugly things disappear I can feel better about myself

    • Hello there
      I’m sorry to hear you are hurting and I understand your journey and pain all too well.
      I realize your post is dated last year and I can’t help but wonder if you had the demabrasion and if so, where you satified with the results? I have “significant” acne scarring as validated stated by a plastic surgeon at a cancer agency among many other dermatologists and plastic surgeons/ specialists. While I am in my mid forties, the cysts and scars continue to this day. Anyways, I tried a procedure similar to a dermabrasion as was so heartbroken and hopeless as it did not work for me. My scars I had though, despite being encouraged by the performing physician did not improve the apprearance or depth of these craters. I feel personally that I believed, and they fostered ‘false hope’ if you will. Not to mention the hefty financial cost for this procedure. May I ask, how did you fair? My life too is deeply limited and impacted by these scars and at times ( many times) in the past have considered extreme measures to end the mental pain, shame and disgust I feel within myself as I have been told it is something nothing can help with at this time. Please tell me how things worked out for you and if it improved your emotional pain in anyway.
      Thanks for sharing your story. I never realized, thought or knew other people experienced or were impacted as deeply on so many levels. I hope to hear back from you or anyone who can relate to feeling the isolation and self loathing and disgust from inside.

  • I feel suicidal over a facial ‘defect’ it’s not acne its my jaw and teeth.. but the pain is the same.. I feel like it’s the root cause of all my suffering and I’ll never really be loved as a person until my face is fixed. I hate that people laugh and call this trivial looking over the fact our culture has poured billions of dollars into ensuring we grow up with low self esteem and stupid values. Living in a world that tells you to love and accept yourself and that you’ll never be good enough at the same time is a headache.

    • I’m 13 and I have acne. All my friends are beautiful, with clear skin, and gorgeous features, and perfect grades, and my grades are average at best, even though they never do assignments and I do, and and I study and they don’t, and it’s just not fair that they have perfect lives, and I can’t do anything. I have had acne since the fifth grade (I’m currently in the seventh) and I hate having mirrors in the house, I hate going outside looking ugly and disgusting, sometimes I just want to die. I honestly hate myself.

      • Hi. I’m 24. I remember being 13 with awful acne. I would wake up every morning horrified, thinking what did my face do to me this time. It would come in waves… I would get several cysts, they would last for weeks, then die down… I always thought maybe, just maybe, this was the last time. But it always started up again.

        If you can, get accutane. It’s the only thing that really stopped it for me. I took it once in high school and it took away my acne by about 50%. The side effects are horrendous, though… I didn’t want to take it all through college but once I graduated, I took it again and I’m mostly cured. It’s very expensive, and I am praying for you that you have access to good health insurance.

        You’re 13… my god, I wish I could be 13 again 🙂 Even with all that acne 🙂 I know it feels awful right now. I know you look at other kids and see all that they have and can’t understand why you were chosen to lose out. And I know I’m not the first person to tell you this… but people really don’t think about it as much as you do. People aren’t constantly analyzing your skin. Some people will have a problem with it, for sure. But in my experience, when it comes to acne, people either accept you or they don’t. The day to day changes don’t matter… have a new pimple, cyst, did it pop, whatever it is, it’s not gonna change their opinion of you.

        Hope this helps 🙂 if you can, talk to a derm. And ask for accutane. And if they don’t want to prescribe it to you, ask them to test everything else on you, and if those don’t work, then usually they will let you take accutane. Usually it’s topicals first, then oral steroids, then accutane. Good luck.

      • Heey liz my name is selam am from Ethiopia 21 years of age,i just want to let u know that its okay to have acne at ur age,i know what u feel cause i am facing the same problem as you,but there are a lot of ways to cure acne,like chemical peel laser and all that and dont ever give up hope! One day after u bit acne u will remember this and laugh,although i dont see any picture in here,am sure ur beautiful!and dont worry about your grades average is enough!ur doing ur best thats what counts!!!

  • Our society focuses too much on looks. If you don’t match the current standards of beauty, a lot of people feel entitled to treat you like dirt. I don’t have an easy fix for this, but I feel for you and can tell you it is totally not fair!

    One piece of hope I can add is that looks don’t matter as much as you get older. People in their teens and 20s are judged the most on looks. People in their 30s and older are judged more on things such as education, whether they have a job, and other accomplishments. (Plus, of course, acne often gets better over time.) Please hang in there!

  • Scars appearance are changing after 7 days of use. Daughter has a bad facial scar from a large cut to her face. The appearance and color of the scar has decreased. The height and thickness of the scar has decreased. Glad I found dermalmd’s scar serum. Will continue to use until my scars areally at my desired likeness. VERY GOOD PRODUCT.

  • Pretty coincidental that I find this site tonight and this is the article on the front page. I’ve been dealing with moderate/severe body acne since I was 16 (so about 8 years now), and it has basically ruined my life. At least, I’ve let it ruin my life. I have horrible self-image and self-hatred issues because of it and it’s such an uphill battle that I work through suicidal thoughts/fantasies every day. I feel very alone and like I don’t belong anywhere. I’ve never been in an intimate relationship and I’ve become a doormat because I feel like the only way I can earn my existence or get people to like me is to do a bunch of nice things all the time and never cause problems. I know it’s wrong but it’s hard to break this conditioning that I’ve ingrained in myself over the years. Currently in therapy which is helping. Sorry for the long rant. I hope that if someone else is going through a similar ordeal that they find solace in the knowledge that they aren’t alone in their suffering. I feel a little less like a freak from reading this article. Thank you for writing it. Peace

  • I had terrible acne as a teenager and yes, it’s very tough, no doubt about it. Just as it improved my hair began to fall out. Life’s a bitch right?
    Back then I believed that I was so ugly that I’d never find a girlfriend but later I married a very beautiful girl who was more interested in my character.
    I also believe that foods which contain butter fat are the worst and as soon as I stopped eating such foods my acne improved and has pretty much never appeared. Give it a try.
    Keep your chin up )

  • The only reason I’m writing this is because I’ve recently had suicidal thoughts over my acne its something I have suffered with since I was 13 and I’m now 27 and still battling it its not just on my face but all over my upper arms which really depresses me as I’m a women and can’t wear any open/short sleeve tops or dresses most of All I feel like a bad mum as I now have 2 children and feel like I’m depriving them of a better life by not taking them swimming or taking them on a summer holiday as I get to hot in full length clothes I even dreaded my honeymoon (which was a gift so had no choice but to go ) as it was to Cyprus and was so hot I hardly ever left the room until evening as I couldn’t bear to get my body or make up free face out it’s also left pigmentation marks which worsens when I go in the sun. I have tried so many products but still found nothing that works I’m sick of waking up each morning thinking how bad is it now. im so grateful for my kids and loving husband but feel so ugly

  • If anybody wants to remove scars away please try dermalmd scar serum.I got the best result so i recommend it.

  • What the hell i am undergoing..
    I feel useless crap.
    I hate myself.
    Im so creative by my mind, but everyone looks at my so ugly acne face.
    Not only all types of acne, but also i have a bumpy nose, droopy eyes, teeth overbite, boney face…this is the hell iam living with..
    I feel like iam no more alive..
    I wish atleast there were no acne..😢

  • Stay in there guys, never lose hope.

    I grew up with severe acne, it completely destroyed my childhood. Everybody called me ugly, including my parents. When I became 16, I took a step forward and tried medication, nothing worked, not even Accutane which made my lips look I have herpes. Life was full of nothing but misery and sadness. Suicide always looked so good to me, but I resisted. Colleagues at high school would call me “vampire” because I would always avoid the sun since it gave me outbreaks and thus I ended up with white pale skin. The constant stress made my skin go ugly and I have dark bags under my eyes, always looking tired and old. I couldn’t even make any real friends, spent all my time studying and working out, all while complementing whether I should it end my pain each day.

    Now that I’m in my 20’s, things have taken a turn to the better. People care less about my looks and more about my skills and achievements. To all the young people out there reading this, stay in there and keep holding on, I promise you it gets better. Just remember, it isn’t about what others think about you, it’s only about what you think about yourself. Continue improving yourself and never lose hope. Do what you want to do and never be afraid again.

  • The lack of eye contact. The favoritism that I observe. It feels like I can never actively participate in any form of social interaction. It has drained me completely to the point that I’ve isolated myself for years because of it. I’m going on 6 years being unemployed. The anxiety is unbearable. I rarely leave the house. I don’t have the courage to do most things at this point other than hoping it ends soon and painlessly. It’s a tough set of circumstances, and I haven’t been strong enough to deal with them. I’m not dead yet but I might as well be. But I’m glad that they’re websites like this that give me the opportunity to become involved with the world.

  • Honestly, I can’t believe there isn’t just a simple agreed upon way to get rid of acne and acne scars. Everyone has a different opinion; i’m in my late 20’s and am currently on clindomycin and tazorac. They work a little, but not really. My face is so dry im constantly putting on moisturizer, and while i’m not getting traditional pimples I am getting giant red spots where the pimples want to be. It’s just so frustrating. Even in this thread everyone has a different opinion on what works, what doesn’t, etc.I’m willing to try anything. My acne was a major contributing factor to 3 separate, different, drug addictions between 17-24. I’m finally clean and in a good place in my life; I have a great job, a car, a house, but i’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I have a physical deformity on my face that’s never going away. It still causes me daily panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. I would give anything to not have acne. I know that my acne is all anyone is looking at when they talk to me. They’re thinking about it, i’m thinking about it, yet no one says anything out loud about it. It’s a curse, it really is.

  • My face looks like the surface of an orange peel. Why aren’t people disgusted with an orange? I wish there were a support group for acne and acne scar sufferers in my city. I’m tired of hiding. It’s too stressful to see people react to my face in the manner they do. No one wants to be around me. My family all denies that there’s a problem. But they don’t see what I see. They don’t feel what I feel. My face is riddled with scars, and they freak out when they get something that resembles a tiny pink bump on their faces. I’m exhausted and depressed from all of the rejections. I wish I was optimistic but this really tests the psyche and resiliency. Stay strong my friends!

  • I think the worst part to having this struggle is forgetting that I have it. It’s always other people’s reactions that remind me of my circumstances. The mirror of course is a major factor too, but when away from the mirror, I have some sense of self-confidence, but I always have to counter it with all the negativity I’ve received so that I don’t forget how I’m perceived. It’s been 20 years of similar reactions you would think I’d get used to it by now. But pain is pain. What a nightmarish wake up call this journey has been. Aaaahhh!!!

  • Accutane was the only thing that worked for me. There is hysteria about it causing suicidal thoughts, but i had that anyway due to the horrible boils all over my face and back. It was a miracle pill for me.

  • Reading these comments brings me back to those days of puberty. Acne so embaresing, i used to pee in big bottles in my room to avoid the bathroom mirrors untill boils got unbareable, I spent fri/sat nights in front of mirrors popping zits while most ppl went out to parties. I had/have a kit of tools to do this task. Im 32 now and have 5 boils on my face now! Its a flare up which should fade for a couple weeks and ill have one week no pimples in between cycles. I did several antibiotics but your body becomes immune to them so the pimples start to grow again. I did accutane and it did help but only for 2 yrs. (General advice here)It works by shrinking the sabaceous glands in the skin permanently. So youll have dryer looking skin for the rest of your days. It also drys out the essential fatty acid passages your brain needs to feel at ease. Hence its suicidal reputation. Sometimes i wonder if it really pushed my wish for death over the edge cuz i fantasize about suicide all f-ing day long, so buyer beware. At least ill give some advice ive learned. 1. Eat lots of raw veggies/fruits (specially greens)2. lots of water/no sodas sweet drinks or foods. 3. A good sunburn helps to hide them & give skin bloodflow & it accelerates the healing process alot! 4. A really good sweating flushes the crap out (turn the bathroom shower full hot) 5. Bentonite clay mask. 6. A bad stressful episode will create them so dont let that poison course through your veins. Beat up a punching bag or hard excersize so it gets transformed rather than boiling up your face. Well good luck yall i feel for you.

  • I too have suffered from and still do suffer from ‘severe’ acne scarring on almost every inch of my face. I am now in my late forties and the cysts and scarring persists. There is always a new hole or icepick scar regardless of my facial cleansing routine. The slightest pimple or flare up from a face full of lumpy cysts leaves huge holes that no expert or treatment has been able to help and I have tried them all… at least to my best knowledge and research. They often leak when inflamed, throb painfully and periodically alter or deform the area(s) affected. While the comments and stares from others are painful, nothing is or has been more painful than the shame, isolation and disgust I see and feel every time I look in the mirror. In my situation, most others minimize the scarring, but I know that my case is significant as stated by every professional I have consulted including a facial plastic surgeon from a well recognized cancer agency. While I do understand that I should be grateful as it is not cancer or life threatening condition physically, the impact has been self limiting to say the least, debilitating and affected every aspect of my life. It affects my ability to be around others, work, maintain any type personal relationship platonic or not. I avoid partners and intimacy due to its disgusting presentations. I do not attend family or social events; I seldom leave my home as I feel like an Ogre. The depth and sheer amount of scarring is not subjective but also an objective assessment based on opinions from health care professionals and other experts I have consulted over many years.
    I feel a bit relieved to hear that others have also experienced such mental distress, dark thoughts and deep emotional pain from such a widely minimized and supposingly “normal” affliction that “everybody experiences.”
    My relief isn’t knowing others are suffering too rather a validation that I am not just overly sensitive or weak in my struggle to deal with what I feel is a life sentence with no chance of parole and some of the negative, dark thoughts that accompany this under-recognized condition as well as the psychological impact it has on people’s mental health, well being and sense of self.
    Thank you all for sharing your stories!!
    As I said, at the very least I know now I am not alone nor weak or a ‘poor coper.’
    Any comments or feedback, venting is grately valued and appreciated. Take care all.

    • I hope things get better for you. I’m in a similar situation and it hurts to hear my thoughts and pain coming from someone else. I’m sorry this has happened. I can only hope your life gets better. Take care friend.

  • Maybe I am weird but I never found acne on a woman to be a turn off or a relationship deal breaker. I dated from age 16 til I married at age 33 and over the years dated a few with persistent acne. Perhaps because of it they developed far better personalities, I was always more attracted to them due to their maturity level. So for those that suffer from acne, be aware, not everyone out there is judging you negatively. True beauty comes from within and is everlasting. Now nail polish and makeup, ecch! Always avoided those that used cosmetics.

  • I suffered with acne till I was 26 (up until a few months ago) it would come and go in stages every few years..but it would be not just a few pimples it would be all or birthing literally I would either have 50 cystic pimples or none at all. Only thing that cleared my acne up was the birth control pill (Estelle 35 takes a few months to work) and now I’m 100% (with the exception of some scars) so to any women out there suffering from acne I couldn’t recommend Estelle 35 enough..I know how much acne can affect your self esteem and day to day life. And for acne scars I’d recommend 3-6 sessions microneedling rf as it can be done on all skin types, and isn’t as abrasive as lasers..I’ve done it and it makes a huge difference.

  • I want to become a success story. I’m tired of feeling insecure because of my skin. I want to accept it and live out my life without being bombarded by the internal negativity. There will always be people that make comments about people’s look. I can’t stop that from happening, but I want to learn how to control my own thoughts and emotions when it comes to my skin. I have a wonderful companion that puts up with my whining and phobias and isolating behaviors, but now I have to take the driver’s seat to my own life and be brave and face the traffic and stress of everyday living. I’m tired of hiding. I’ve hid myself away from a normal life for almost eight years now. Enough is enough. I need to make my move and live.

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