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Hello all, my name is Dan, I'm 23 and a long time lurker on the forums who finally decided to sign up for the sole purpose of posting this thread. I wanted to share my story and give some advice to my fellow guys who suffer from acne. Women could probably use some of this advice as well even though it pertains mainly to men and my experiences as a man. I've had acne since about the age of 16. I was a bit of a late bloomer and my acne really just blew up around my sophomore year of high school. It progressively got worse and I became completely obsessed with my skin. I'd spend hours picking at my skin and trying every home remedy I could find on the internet which only aggravated my acne further and made me look worse. Despite my acne, I made efforts to be fairly social and always had friends throughout high school. But I was so self conscious about my acne that I would run right to the bus after school so I would avoid seeing anyone and got home as soon as possible to douse my face with store bought creams and face washes. Looking back at it now, it was a sad existence and just a waste of time that could've been spent much more productively. But anywho, I didn't see a derm until about my freshman year of college. And when I did, my face completely cleared up but soon after broke out again and continued to break out. I was feeling hopeless at that point and did not want to go through another 4 years of hiding in my room and avoiding the opposite sex. I slowly came to accept the fact that maybe my skin was extremely sensitive and that I just had to live with it. I found these forums and began reading up on different remedies and treatments. I soon after completely changed my diet, eliminating milk completely, avoiding sugary and greasy foods as much as possible, only eating chocolate here and there and supplementing with zinc. I've kept up with this regimen and it's done wonders for my skin. I still have very very light acne from time to time but I've experienced the worst of it.

Now the purpose of this thread is to tell you guys how I overcame social anxiety while having acne, not to give you home remedy tips that you've all probably heard before. You never really notice all the opportunities you've missed in the past until you sit back and think about it, and by opportunities I mean women. Knowing what I know now, it was clear as day that girls were flirting with me in high school and it completely went over my head because I was too obsessed with my skin and hiding from them. Mind you this is when my acne was the worst and pretty bad I must say. I can guarantee that there is some girl out there that you see everyday, whether it be a customer at your job, a classmate, coworker, whatever, that is blatantly flirting with you but your missing all the signals because you have that stupid voice in your head thats telling you to look down so she doesn't see your skin, or that she's not interested in you because of your skin, or that she probably has a boyfriend with flawless skin somewhere. This is all psychological nonsense that you need to get over. Its easy to say at this point but it needs to be done in order for you to live up to your full potential and live a meaningful life. And as harsh as it sounds, she's not interested, and its not because of your acne, its because you look like a timid scared animal looking down at your feet while you should be making eye contact and starting up an actual conversation. There are girls out there that will judge you by your skin and may not want to have anything to do with you for that sole reason but who gives a f*ck. And that who gives a f*ck attitude is exactly what you need to adopt in order to be successful with the opposite sex and successful in life.

There are girls out there who may think you look like a male model and girls who think your hideous. This applies to everyone, with or without acne. People have different tastes and you'll never know if a woman is interested in you if you don't stop letting acne control your life and speak up. But anyhow, I adopted that who gives a f*ck attitude around my freshman year of college and mind you that whole diet change thing I spoke about earlier, took some time to really make an impact and clear up my skin so I still did have acne throughout college. I've always had an older group of friends that I hung out with that started brining me around women, going to bars with them, going to clubs, just social gatherings in general. I met knew people, became more social, but I was still shy around girls and it took some time for me to come around. So i started trying to better myself to the best of my ability, and by that I mean buying new clothes that fit well and looked trendy, working out, playing basketball more, reading online articles about everything and anything. Being knowledgable and having a life of your own is what makes you attractive to women, not having perfect flawless skin. A woman wants to know that you have interests deeper than call of duty and that you have experiences that you can share with her. Now I don't know if any of you have been on dates or where you fall into any of this but from personal experience, its much easier to converse with a woman and people in general when you have actual experiences to share with them, and by experiences I mean actual experiences like traveling or even small things like restaurants you've been to or food you've tried, not sitting around in your house with your friends playing video games. You may hate me for knocking video games but it just doesn't make you a very interesting person, to women at least. So anyhow, I began talking to girls in my classes, girls that were friends with my guy friends, girls that I met in groups when I went out with my friends. And talking to a girl may seem like the absolute hardest thing on the planet at first but it doesn't take much to strike up a conversation. Something as cheesy as 'can i borrow a pen?' or 'I am so lost in this class, do you get any of what she's saying' will get you a lot further than not saying anything and staring at her like a weirdo from the corner of your eye lol and they do see you staring. My advice to you is to just practice talking to people in general. Go to the supermarket and talk to a cashier your age, go to any store and ask for help or an opinion on something like a piece of clothing.

It all comes more naturally as you continue to practice and become more confident. And as you see that girls are actually responsive to you and are even having conversations with you, even if it might be about the piece of fruit you asked help finding at the supermarket, you'll notice that girls don't think your some hideous acne ogre that you've made yourself out to be in your head. Your actually a confident guy who isn't afraid to speak to random people. The more you interact with people the less you'll begin thinking about your acne. If you hide in your house for weeks at a time and step outdoors one day your going to be scared and timid and worried about what people are going to think about you. Where as if your at the supermarket every week, and the cute cashier that you've been eyeing sees you every week, she'll probably notice that you have acne, and she may not give a crap because she sees you all the time and its nothing new and your personality can start to slowly grow on her. You may go from saying something simple as hello to talking about school and what not the more you go and eventually you may grow a pair and ask her out. You just can't let acne hold you back and think every girl thinks your some hideous freak because you have a couple of blemishes on your face. But back to my story, so i began literally talking to a ton of girls, sure it may have been awkward at first and I may have come across as a little weird but the more I spoke to women and people in general I became more social and just an overall outgoing guy who was fun to hang out with. And thats what girls love, a fun guy who is outgoing. This isn't some god gifted quality that only some are born with, you too can become and outgoing person with acne, you just have to work at it like anything else. While meeting different girls, I even hooked up with some, all while I had acne, shocking huh? and I'm sure they noticed that i had acne but they didn't care because I was funny, I looked like I knew what I was doing and I always looked like I was having a good time.

Soon after, the drop dead gorgeous girl I was working with broke up with her boyfriend and started flirting with me. But at this point I knew better and wasn't about to let this one go over my head like I did in high school and not make a move. She was beautiful, and not just an average girl, but a girl that had done some modeling and would go to clubs in the city that picked females off the line to get in if that matters to any of you, I'm just trying to paint a picture for you guys. I did something as simple as inviting her to a friends halloween party, where we had a couple of drinks, ending up making out all night and eventually turned into a 3 year relationship. She knew that I had acne, and she just did not care. Some days at work it would really look bad but I just sucked it up and tried to be as confident as I could. And I worked at a bank seeing hundreds of customers a day so it wasn't like I was sitting in some office closed off from the world. I'm sure she saw that I was confident and that I didn't let my acne get to me or teasing from some of my coworkers get to me either, I just laughed it off and went about my day. But anyhow we went out for about 3 years, I even asked her if she found my acne unattractive and she said she barely noticed it. Now this doesn't mean you can look like a complete slob and be antisocial and expect a girl to not care about your acne either. It was probably because I was always well groomed, well dressed, had a great personality and had some many other things going for me that completely overwhelmed her and made her not even think about my acne. Long story short, we ended up breaking up about 2 months ago because we didn't see eye to eye on certain things. I'm sure many of you are thinking omg you broke up with a gorgeous girl who accepted the fact that you had acne and now your doomed to an eternity of being alone. This is completely not the case guys, I made that decision to leave her because she wasn't right for me. And now here I am, single like many of you but I'm out there casually dating, flirting more than ever, going out more than ever, more successful with women than ever and just down right living life. I even break out here and there but remember who gives a f*ck right?

My last piece of advice for you single guys is to not fall in love with the first girl that shows you the time of day. I know its going to be hard when you get that first really attractive girl who's talking to you and who's completely wrong for you but you choose to pursue her anyhow because she's not judging your acne. A girl who doesn't judge your skin should not be your number one priority when looking for a girlfriend. Because remember after you've bettered yourself by reading, traveling, working out and being more social you've developed a greater criteria of what you want in a girl. Your no longer thinking about what you can offer a girl but what a girl can offer you because your the sh*t. You have acne, your out there taking to girls, you may have a really cute girlfriend and people will respect you for that. Theres guys out there that have more money than you, better bodies than you, dressed better than you and there on the walls at the bar or club your at afraid to approach women. After reading this, I hope you'll be that guy who has acne, isn't afraid to approach people and especially women and is living his life to the fullest. I wrote this at 2 am and it may disorganized but I hope it will help at least one guy or girl out there that has social anxiety because of their acne. Good luck guys

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Bro, this is actually the best read on this forums I've ever seen. Now, looking back at high school (just a few months ago, just started college), I've missed out on ALOT of experiences with girls and events I could've gone to. I've started becoming more confident with girls, starting small talk and just making friends with them in general. It's gotten easier and guess what? My acne is actually getting better. I'm guessing this is because I'm stressing less and I'm getting the courage to talk to people. I'm not really anti-social, I could easily talk to somebody if they come up to me first, but now I can go up to people asking for help or just talking to them for random reasons. This is helping me so much and I agree with your wall of text (which I enjoy alot).

Guys and girls, live out your life, forget acne. You WILL be MISSING lots of opportunities in life that you won't be able to do once you're older. You're young! LIVE YOUR LIFE! Trust me, people can look past the fact that you have pimples, like OP said above, just take care of yourself. Dress nice, go out more, experience different things, succeed in life, etc! Also, go to a dermatologist to just get checkups on your skin to see how you can improve, ASK QUESTIONS. Don't be shy accepting everything they offer, ask questions or you'll be confused as to what to do. Luckily for me I got a new dermatologist that is outgoing and he's made me very sociable, we talk about everything! You can do this with anybody, just open up! Don't be scared, be confident! And if you're in college, this is especially the time where you should be living life to the fullest! I live in NYC so being sociable can get me different experiences, so don't be scared to talk to people! It can get you far!

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Bro, this is actually the best read on this forums I've ever seen. Now, looking back at high school (just a few months ago, just started college), I've missed out on ALOT of experiences with girls and events I could've gone to. I've started becoming more confident with girls, starting small talk and just making friends with them in general. It's gotten easier and guess what? My acne is actually getting better. I'm guessing this is because I'm stressing less and I'm getting the courage to talk to people. I'm not really anti-social, I could easily talk to somebody if they come up to me first, but now I can go up to people asking for help or just talking to them for random reasons. This is helping me so much and I agree with your wall of text (which I enjoy alot).

Guys and girls, live out your life, forget acne. You WILL be MISSING lots of opportunities in life that you won't be able to do once you're older. You're young! LIVE YOUR LIFE! Trust me, people can look past the fact that you have pimples, like OP said above, just take care of yourself. Dress nice, go out more, experience different things, succeed in life, etc! Also, go to a dermatologist to just get checkups on your skin to see how you can improve, ASK QUESTIONS. Don't be shy accepting everything they offer, ask questions or you'll be confused as to what to do. Luckily for me I got a new dermatologist that is outgoing and he's made me very sociable, we talk about everything! You can do this with anybody, just open up! Don't be scared, be confident! And if you're in college, this is especially the time where you should be living life to the fullest! I live in NYC so being sociable can get me different experiences, so don't be scared to talk to people! It can get you far!

Thats what I'm talking about my dude, you remind me of a young me. Go kill it and don't end up like the two people above me lol

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Bro, this is actually the best read on this forums I've ever seen. Now, looking back at high school (just a few months ago, just started college), I've missed out on ALOT of experiences with girls and events I could've gone to. I've started becoming more confident with girls, starting small talk and just making friends with them in general. It's gotten easier and guess what? My acne is actually getting better. I'm guessing this is because I'm stressing less and I'm getting the courage to talk to people. I'm not really anti-social, I could easily talk to somebody if they come up to me first, but now I can go up to people asking for help or just talking to them for random reasons. This is helping me so much and I agree with your wall of text (which I enjoy alot).

Guys and girls, live out your life, forget acne. You WILL be MISSING lots of opportunities in life that you won't be able to do once you're older. You're young! LIVE YOUR LIFE! Trust me, people can look past the fact that you have pimples, like OP said above, just take care of yourself. Dress nice, go out more, experience different things, succeed in life, etc! Also, go to a dermatologist to just get checkups on your skin to see how you can improve, ASK QUESTIONS. Don't be shy accepting everything they offer, ask questions or you'll be confused as to what to do. Luckily for me I got a new dermatologist that is outgoing and he's made me very sociable, we talk about everything! You can do this with anybody, just open up! Don't be scared, be confident! And if you're in college, this is especially the time where you should be living life to the fullest! I live in NYC so being sociable can get me different experiences, so don't be scared to talk to people! It can get you far!

Thats what I'm talking about my dude, you remind me of a young me. Go kill it and don't end up like the two people above me lol

How cute, you think I had a choice in the matter

Edited by AlexanderJ86

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At first I was like there's no way I'm reading all that, but I did anyway haha. Great read, very inspiring.

It's so shitty how a few red dots has the power to hold us back so much. Just saying "Screw it" and pushing forward is what it takes. I'm going to share this post with some people if you don't mind.

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I feel you tremendously bro, I think that attitude is more than half the battle! Women, not girls, are way more attracted to confidence and personality than soley looks, in my opinion. Like anything in life, we are our own gatekeepers, only you can allow your skin to lead you to depression and anti-social behavior. Once you stop worrying about your skin and start living life, I think many things get better. Exercise has helped me a lot, and in fact has helped clear my complexion. I'm dating a girl that 3 years ago I would never have dreamed I could even talk to. For all those that are down right not just remember, things will get better, just because you have a bad day, week, month, year does not mean you have a bad life!

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Wow, great advice! I've been working on my confidence recently by exercising and it makes me feel a lot better. Thank you for this..

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Great posts everyone!

I had a pretty good experience a few days ago. It was the first day of my apprenticeship training and I had suddenly broke out really badly on my chin and upper lip (which made me look like I had a cleft palate.. It was really bad). Then not only that, but we had to take photos twice. I was sitting in front of the whole group smiling for the camera and I was sure everyone was watching eeek!! So I was really annoyed that I was going to have such terrible photos I my ID all year, and working at the airport EVERYONE sees it xD. But I decided that I would live and went back on low carb high fat vege/meat diet which I know kicks my acne and now two days later I'm pretty much clear. And my life continues.  xD darn grandma with her Christmas cookies. No more cheat days!! 

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