It will come as no surprise that acne can make you feel down. Nobody feels their best when their skin is breaking out, do they? But did you know that acne can actually have a serious effect on a sufferer’s emotional health and wellbeing? Many studies have shown that acne sufferers are between 2 and 3 times as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and low self‐esteem. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way, and there are loads of things you can do to help reduce the emotional impact of acne and stop acne ruling your life:
See a healthcare professional
If your acne is moderate or severe, or if you feel like it is affecting you emotionally, it’s important to visit your GP. They can decide on the most appropriate treatment for the type of blemishes you suffer from, which can include stronger, topical creams or antibiotics. Your GP can also put you in touch with a mental health specialist if necessary, to give you tools on how to deal with acne emotionally.
Establish a skincare routine
It’s a myth that acne is caused by poor hygiene but keeping your skin clean and well looked after will help to clear pores and speed up the healing of blemishes. Establish a routine, and make this routine a regular, twice‐a‐day commitment to really reap the benefits. Just don’t overdo it! Washing your face more than twice a day can irritate the skin on your face not affected by acne, causing redness and dryness.
Get yourself out there
Hiding away and refusing to leave the house can exacerbate emotional issues associated with acne, and make you feel worse. It can sometimes feel like you’re the only person in the world who gets spots, but talking to your friends about how you’re feeling can help you to see just how common it is!
More than anything else, socialising with your friends can help you to grow in confidence and take your mind off your skin. If you can’t bear the thought of going out bare-faced, then don’t despair. There’s lots of non-comedogenic makeup out there that can cover-up blemishes without making them worse.
Another commonly held belief is that stress can cause acne, and there could be some truth behind this. While stress cannot be the sole cause of acne, it can worsen the severity of break‐outs.
Anxiety and stress can also increase nervous picking and face‐touching, introducing more bacteria to the face and slowing healing time. There are loads of ways you can de‐stress at home. Why not take up meditation or yoga? If there are no classes around you, try a relaxation app to teach you techniques. Even taking a few minutes each day to concentrate on deep‐breathing can help with stress and anxiety.
Take care of your body
If you’re looking after your body’s largest organ (that’s your skin, by the way) then it makes sense to pay attention to the rest of your body too. Eating well and exercising regularly can have a seriously positive impact on mental health. It can improve sleep, promote stress relief and lessen anxiety – which is hugely beneficial when you’re feeling down about your skin. While there is no conclusive evidence of a correlation between acne and a poor diet, there are several studies indicating there could be a link.