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Need Some Insight Into People's Behaviors...

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Hi all. I just joined after reading threads on this site for a few months. I will be turning 30 in a few months and will give a very brief summary of my acne battle for the past 15 yrs:

Junior year of high school was when I really started breaking out with cystic acne on my face, neck, back, and some spots on my upper chest. After trying the usual antibiotics and topicals, my derm put me on Accutane. The course of accutane cleared up everything, but was not a permanent cure. What the first course did do "permanently" was greatly reduce any new acne from appearing on my back/neck/chest and I only have slight red hyperpigmentation scars on my back.

The rest of high school and 4 yrs of college, I tried various topicals (proactiv being the biggest crock of shit for me! :cool: ) and a few courses of antibiotics at times since the acne was slowly creeping back in on my face.... Senior year of college it was bad enough again that I went on Accutane for a 2nd time. Everything cleared up again..... yet slowly but surely over the course of 2-3 years post 2nd course, acne kept coming back... At this time, more and more of my face was becoming scarred and hyperpigmented.

Post college it was really hard for me to stay at a job for longer than 2 yrs. I was very concerned about what other people thought of my appearance and the ongoing moderate acne combined with the scarring greatly affected my self confidence as I'm sure we all know it does. I was basically very depressed for about 3-4 years up until a few months ago. I would have 2 beers a night several times a week, eat lots of junk food (pizza, etc.) and didn't care about seeing my friends from college anymore.

What woke me up a few months ago was the need to find a job to support myself again. However, I began observing people's behavior and reactions more closely when they saw my face. Basically, my face is currently clear of new acne thanks to the acne/org regimen, but I still have scarring and hyperpgimentation. The scarring is deep and several US quarters in size on the left cheekbone area and there are several patches of red hyperpigmentation under my lower lip/chin and on the right side of my face. Basically on my left side of my face, I have skin that is similar in "texture" to Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama in Battlestar Galactica). I am glad that finally my hormones are calming down and over time, I have grown to live with my appearance and accept myself, but I need insight into behaviors of others that see me.

There are two very troubling (in my mind) behaviors/reactions that I have noticed other people (strangers) do when they see my for the first time:

1: Women will pull their blouse or shirt closed in a manner of covering their breasts...

2: Women and some men (very few) will make motions (sometimes repeatedly) to pull down their shirt so as to cover their private area...

Now, I obviously know that my facial appearance has something to do with why they are doing either the first or the second actions (I haven't seen any woman do both yet!). What I have noticed is that the women who do 1 or 2 tend to be older women in their 40s, 50s plus. I don't let my scarring stop me from going to meetups, etc. and 99.9% of young women around my age that I meet at these events do not do 1 or 2. Why is it that older women are doing those actions? I am fairly certain that I am not doing anything body language wise that would suggest I am sexually attracted to them (which honestly I am not!). Is it because the older women have never seen a man so disfigured before?

Furthermore, 99.9% of men don't have any obvious reaction when talking to me or speaking to me for the first time. However, I did notice one sales clerk at a parts store that I go to for one of my hobbies do action #2; he was probably no older than 35 or so.

When these people do either actions 1 or 2, are they doing it subconsciously or on the conscious level? Are they doing it because they see my face and know that acne means raging hormones and they think I'm a sexual predator who will try to grope them or ogle them???

I have read on here and watched some youtube vids about men's makeup routines to cover acne scarring. I have considered doing that, but am hesitant because I still like to do activities where one sweats a lot or involves swimming etc. and I don't think the makeup would work...

Sorry for the long first post, but had to get this off my chest! I appreciate any insight into this and all we can do is just keep battling one day at a time until technology will win the battle over acne and scarring.

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I am interested in your opinions concerning the stuff in the first post.

Over time, I worry less and less about how my past severe acne and present scarring affect my life. I honestly do not care about 95% of people think, do, believe, etc. As long as they don't directly infringe on my rights and personal space, then whatever...

What has helped me come to this state of mind over the past several months is the following belief. I first want to say that I do not want to offend anyone's religions beliefs. However, I am certainly not the only one of this opinion based of all I have read/heard online and in books. I honestly believe that humans are nothing more than slightly smarter apes. As such, most people operate only slightly above the lizard-brain level of reasoning. Sexual attraction and finding a mate are certainly lizard-brain related decisions that are most likely unconscious.

In the ape brain reasoning, a mate with clear skin, good bone structure, etc. is the best chance for them to have healthy offspring. BUT little does the ape know that clear skin, etc. IS NOT a perfect indicator of good genetics. Lots of couples who have no obvious physical or mental conditions produce offspring with either/both of those types of conditions...

Honestly, I am not going to let acne scarring stop me from living the only life I have. In the past few years, I have done things that I have always wanted to do and still have a list of stuff to try (including sky diving and scuba diving). Most of my daily or seasonal hobbies are ones that I enjoy by myself and they include fishing, kayaking, learning new programming languages, and computer games. I do not worry about other people's acceptance and if I do not find a GF or wife, then so be it.

Off the top of my head, there are five conditions that I would definitely not have traded severe acne/later scarring for:

1) Down Syndrome

2) being blind

3) Quadriplegic

4) Cystic fibrosis

5) obesity

That being said, I do not want to pretend that people with severe acne do not suffer. Honestly, it does really seem that people in general have more empathy for people with all sorts of obvious conditions (the 5 above for example), but such empathy does not extend to people with severe acne/scarring... That is what I believe is the main cause of our mental torment... The fact that others are not empathetic toward our condition.

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I'd like to think the reactions you've noticed are probably more a reflection of those peoples own insecurities. Have you sat nearby and watched how they react to other men? It's great that most people you're meeting don't have those reactions....I think that's helpful for some of the other forum visitors and members who have been isolating themselves to hear...

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I've met tons of 'ugly' and creepy guys before and I've never done any of those unless my tits accidentally popped out. I think you may be overanalysing due to insecurities. Otherwise it's because you are checking their chest/lower area to see if they are doing it and that is causing them to think that you are being a Peeping Tom, so hence we come back to number one.

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