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Is our acne noticed THAT much?

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Before my skin broke out this spring, I never devoted even a single second of my time thinking about acne. I never cared if I had a few pimples, and I never noticed if anyone else had acne.

I can even remember last fall, when I was trying to describe identify someone to a friend. Finally, once I had described his main features ("you know, the tall guy with brown hair?"), my friend said: "Oh, the guy with really bad acne?"

I shrugged. That certainly wasn't something I had ever even given thought to.

The next time I saw the guy, I noticed that his face was indeed covered with pretty severe cystic acne. But someone had to point it out to me-- and I later learned that my friend had dealt with pretty bad acne in high school.

Now that I'm the one with acne, I feel like everyone is looking at my nasty face. To me, when I look in the mirror, it's like I have chickenpox. I don't even have terrible skin, but every little red spot and every little pimple all comes together at once almost... and I hate the way it looks.

But I'm starting to think that maybe people don't see my face like I do. There is a thread in this forum about how different mirrors make us look drastically different, and I've noticed this too. I also usually look OK in photographs, and it seems that my face isn't really noticeable from more than 10 feet away or so. Also, when I take out my contacts and look at myself in the mirror, I barely can even tell I have acne. It's like two different worlds when I'm wearing my contacts and when I'm not. How can it make that much of a difference?

If I can look so different in one mirror as opposed to another, and I can look so different in a photograph or when I'm not wearing my contacts, then what does that say? Does it mean that maybe my acne's not a big deal at all? If I didn't even notice severe acne on someone last fall, does that mean that most people don't notice me?

As we all know, the psychological effects of acne are the worst part. I'm starting to think that we can conquer these issues though.

Edited by meller
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We can certainly conquer these issue. This is where the issue ultimately has to be resolved.

There are things in life the we can control and there are things we cannot control. Acne is genetic so that is beyond our control. However we can control the effects with acne meds.

With the psycological issues. We can let it controls us or we take control. That is the challegne though.

Edited by Nicky D
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I do believe that we are our own worst critics, but its still hard to convince myself that my acne is not as bad as I think. People tell me all the time that my skin really doesnt look that bad. I really want to belive them but it's hard. For me, a big part of it is that the spots are really painful sometimes. Even if I can cover the big ones, I still feel them and that makes it hard to stop worrying about them.

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I HATE acne soooooo much. It looks aweful and it's embarrasing! But I often wonder that too: If my acne is as bad as I really believe it is. We're all self-critical and most of us think of ourselves as ugly or fat or whatever else, even if we truly aren't.

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I've always wanted to know this. I agree that we are our own worst critics... but what about the people that keep their comments to themselves?

Thinking back, there are only two times I remember that my acne has been brought up with people outside of my family. The first was in fifth grade when my acne started- one of my best friends (yes, she's still my best friend despite how blunt she is sometimes.. but she's matured a lot since fifth grade) said something like, "look at all of your pimples!". I wouldn't have cared that much if other people hadn't been around. The second was in about seventh grade, when I was talking to a girl I've known since kindergarten but have never really been close friends with. She asked me if I knew this one girl, and I told her I'd heard of her, and then she proceeded to tell me that I had been brought up in a conversation with another person I knew and the girl had referred to me as "the girl with the really bad acne problem". What gets me is that now the girl that said that about me back in middle school acts like she's Miss Innocent and such a round-eyed goody-two-shoes (which she kind of is... but in a very strong "holier than thou" kind of way)... I wonder if she knows that I know what she said about me. :D

With the exception of those two girls and my close family members, no one has really ever said anything to me about my acne problem. Even if I think my acne is worse than it actually is, there's no denying that it's still pretty bad. It's bad enough to be noticed pretty much all of the time, but no one ever says anything. I always find myself wondering whether people really just don't have the time to notice how bad it is or if I'm just lucky to know people who are nice enough to keep their comments to themselves.

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Sure other people notice acne, but there's a difference between noticing something and caring about it. My boyfriend and friends certainly notice my skin, but none of them care that I have acne and scars. :)

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