The Psychological Effects Of Skin Conditions – How Acne Affected My Life

psychological effects of skin conditions

Having a skin condition can be very damaging, not just to a person’s physical well-being but to their mental health as well. I know this for a fact, because I suffered from severe acne for several years and while the physical impact of acne is usually minimal, the psychological impact is certainly not. Having acne changed who I was then and who I am now, even though I haven’t suffered from acne for years. I wanted to write this article so that people can understand how difficult it can be to have a skin condition, even one that’s common and doesn’t do any significant physical harm, because many people don’t understand just how challenging it can be and what help is really needed.

Skin Conditions & Mental Health

Skin conditions are a common issue, in fact the majority of people usually suffer from one in some form or another at some point in their life. This could be acne, eczema, rosacea, dry skin or many others. Some appear on the face which may be more noticeable, but less visible conditions affecting other areas of the skin can be just as difficult to deal with. The impacts of these skin conditions can be great in the physical sense, of course. Some require a lot of medical care and can do a lot of physical harm if left untreated. But there are some that people think are ‘normal’ and don’t really do any harm at all. I think acne is a great example of this. Some studies have shown that around 85% of teenagers and young adults get some form of acne, even if it’s just mild, so surely it can’t be worth worrying about right? I’m sure reading this either you yourself or people who you know have had or still have acne (it can affect older adults as well, remember). But that doesn’t mean every time they look in the mirror they don’t feel disheartened, even ashamed of how they look; I certainly did. I felt as though every time someone looked at me, all they could think was “how does this person have so many spots on their face?”. In fact, I’d even had that said to me on a number of occasions. Admittedly, I had worse acne than most but I’ve known people with fairly mild acne that really struggle with it and feel very self-conscious.

It doesn’t just have to be acne either. Eczema is another common skin condition which can lead to dry, itchy skin. In some cases, it may prevent people from doing certain activities or, if it’s more visible, it can also lead to self-confidence issues and generally feeling low. All of this has a big impact on someone’s mental health, and can do for a long time.

dealing with mental health

What Should I Do About My Skin Condition?

I wanted to write about the mental impact skin conditions can have for a couple of reasons. For one, if you’re reading this and you have such a condition, know that you are not alone. I for one certainly sympathize, but I can assure you there are other people out there that are going through the same thing. And these days, it’s much easier to find such people. Forums are a great place like Reddit, online communities where people talk about similar issues and how they tackle them. But I also wanted to make people who don’t have these issues aware of their impact. For parents, it’s important to think about how your child might be coping with their condition. Talk to them about it, find out what might help and of course, be sure to help them get the treatment they need. For everyone else, just be kind. Having a skin condition doesn’t change who a person is, so don’t treat them differently. Bullying, staring, or even just pointing it out can have a huge impact on someone’s confidence. Every time someone mentioned my acne, regardless of whether it was in a malicious way or not, made me realize just how noticeable it was and I would feel ashamed.

How Else Can You Help?

Obviously one of the best ways to deal with a skin condition is to try and treat it or at least improve it. This will, of course, depend on the particular condition and it’s always important to research what may be beneficial, or harmful, for your skin. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information online on just about everything, and you can always speak to your GP or visit a dermatologist (a skin specialist). I created Clever Soap to be suitable for a number of skin conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea and dry skin so be sure to check out our range of products here. Also be aware that many skin conditions are actually made worse by environmental factors like too much sun exposure, or wearing clothes or rucksacks which can rub on the skin and cause irritation so be sure to think carefully about what may be triggering it.

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