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The Emotional Toll of Acne

The third party at high school this year, and he’s not going. Again. It’s not that he doesn’t want to. He just feels he can’t. He’s sixteen. And he never looks anybody in the eye. He hasn’t always felt this uncomfortable. This embarrassed. But it’s been like this for a while now and it’s keeping him in his room, behind the computer, where nobody sees his face.  

“I don’t feel comfortable with myself and it’s difficult to start conversations with people at parties because the first thing they’ll see is my face. People will judge me as an unhealthy person. So, I prefer staying at home”.  
 
He suffers from acne. Like many young people around the world. And yet none of his friends or acquaintances have it. At least not that he knows of. The pimples first appeared when he was in the 8th grade. But for the past year it has gotten worse. To the point that it has a serious impact on his social life.  
 
“I’m not really part of the social life around me. It’s a terrible feeling. I feel kind of outside of everyone. And I never feel totally happy. I look in the mirror and I don’t like what I see. It’s just so uncomfortable”. 
He says having acne has impacted the way he approaches life in general.  
 
“I feel like the first thing people see is my face and I don’t blame them. If a person has acne, it’s the first thing you see. It makes me feel sad though…that I have kind of become my acne”.  

Four times he has been to the dermatologist. Under her guidance, he has tried different medical regimes. One of them was particularly awful and he quickly realized that clearer skin was not worth risking his health. 
 
“Acne doesn’t hurt my health in general; it just hurts me personally. I don’t want to take medication that ruins my life going forward. Then I’d rather live with acne until my skin clears”. 

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