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podo

Random thoughts to cheer myself up!

Posted (edited)

Hi, I'm a adult cystic hormonal acne sufferer and like pretty much every other acne sufferer am still battling with the physical and emotional scars of acne. This is common among people with acne (illogical as it is)... but I do it too - I avoid social situations whenever I can because I am conscious of how horrible my face looks (and feels).

A while ago, I came across a Youtube channel called The Tommy Edison Experience and just wanted to share because he almost never fails to cheer me up on a bad day. If you have a similar sense of humour to me (and him!) then I really recommend this channel, it could cheer you up even in the midst of the worst acne breakout! At first I just watched out of curiosity (thanks Youtube recommendations!), but I continued to watch because he made me laugh (out loud, sometimes!). There was one particular video (sorry I can't remember exactly which one it is now...!) where he mentioned "beautiful people". Unlike blind people who lose their vision later in life, Tommy Edison has been blind since birth, so he has never seen ANYTHING - therefore he simply has ZERO concept of what is "beautiful" or "ugly" in terms of the physical appearance of people. Just the idea of this really struck me, because if you really think about it it makes you realise how powerful vision is in forming one's perception of other people, and how easy it is to take it for granted... 

I don't know this just really got me. I'm not claiming that looks don't matter at all, or anything "just-feel-good-about-yourself-no-matter-what" like that... that corny "acne positivity" spiel doesn't really sit right with me (Note!!! Please don't get me wrong, I definitely agree that it's unhealthy to hate on yourself or talk negatively to yourself because of acne - though I am guilty of this myself... - BUT I also think people SHOULD try to clear their acne... it's not a "normal" or "healthy" state for our skin)... because unfortunately in this world most people ARE sighted and a lot of people (often unconsciously) "judge a book by its cover". That's just the reality of it since there is so much information to process when meeting new people, we rely on our senses, sight being a primary sense that we rely on.

Watching Tommy talk about his perspective as a blind man just made me think though. "Looks can be deceiving" and all of that... Life is so complex, and yet we humans seem to be easily "tricked" by the simplest things at the same time. Dunno if I'm making sense... just rambling here.... His views on racism were also really illuminating... Since he has never seen different colours, the idea of racial discrimination is just bizarre to him.

Though he has never mentioned acne on his channel (as far as I know), I imagine it's because someone like him probably just has no concept of acne! It's probably not something he encounters in his daily life because touching other people's faces (or exposed skin, other than maybe hands?) is not regular human behaviour...!

Dunno... anyway his sense of humour and positivity always cheers me up, he has a cheerful personality and laugh despite his disability... and he is very engaging! If you are having a bad day and feeling bad because of your skin and your reflection in the mirror, I really recommend watching some of Tommy's videos, it's a good distraction and might make you smile (maybe even laugh!) at the human condition, too!

Edit: There is another girl on Youtube that I only recently came across too, that also struck me - although for different reasons... Maybe you have heard of her, a girl suffering from cystic fibrosis called Claire Wineland. Unfortunately, I soon found out that she has passed away from her disease... was kind of shocked to realise after coming across her that she no longer exists despite talking to me through a computer screen. What really struck me about her was that despite being very ill (she talks extensively about her condition as well as the emotional aspects of facing her own mortality), to be honest, if she hadn't had the tubing in her nose I honestly don't think I would have been able to tell anything was wrong with her - and also, I really couldn't help noticing how remarkably clear her skin was!! It just goes to show that your skin really ISN'T always a visual indicator of internal health.

I read some articles claiming that studies show acne sufferers are (1) likely to appear more youthful and (2) more susceptible to cancer. Not sure what to make of claims like these... My mother for one had clear (spotless, clear, glowing) skin and yet she passed away from cancer. Are these studies just rubbish?! No idea what to think but I guess we should all try to live our best lives while we can haha!

Edited by podo

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3 hours ago, podo said:

I read some articles claiming that studies show acne sufferers are (1) likely to appear more youthful and (2) more susceptible to cancer. Not sure what to make of claims like these... My mother for one had clear (spotless, clear, glowing) skin and yet she passed away from cancer. Are these studies just rubbish?! No idea what to think but I guess we should all try to live our best lives while we can haha!

There's a lot to unpack here. First of all what studies are you referring to? How have they defined acne? What severity of acne are they referring to and how has it been measured? What was the sample size? Was it based on the global population? Over what period of time was the study conducted? Who commissioned the study? Did the observers themselves claim that people with acne are likely to appear more youthful/ susceptible to cancer, or did a journalist just interpret the data in that way?

Truly scientific studies of this nature would be based on a large sample size so your mother's individual case would be irrelevant - one person's situation would not affect the claim that on AVERAGEpeople with acne are more likely to get cancer. My Grandfather is 93 and has smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 80 years, but that doesn't change the fact that studies show that heavy smokers are on AVERAGE more likely to get cancer.

 

3 hours ago, podo said:

It just goes to show that your skin really ISN'T always a visual indicator of internal health

Who told you it was?

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1 hour ago, jwalk said:

There's a lot to unpack here. First of all what studies are you referring to?

Hi there! Err.. I'm not a scientist myself, I'm just referring to articles like this that I have come across online. I couldn't tell you what the the sample sizes are or who funded/commissioned the study etc because I haven't actually read the source material (the studies themselves - I think the article does mention who ran the study). I've come across these claims several times (probably the articles are referring to the same study, I really don't know as I haven't cross-referenced), while looking up stuff related to acne, so it just made me wonder, based on my own experience - that's all. Which is all I can really do, since I'm not about to conduct a scientific study myself! To be honest... studies and statistics are just that... at the end of the day some study doesn't really impact my individual experience of acne (which is what I'm really commenting on here...) And... based on my experience, I really feel like acne is quite frankly poorly understood even by those who study it. Repeatedly being "promised" that some treatment will fix my acne has led me to this conclusion (I realise that this doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny).

...Which is also why I posted this in the "Emotional and psychological effects of acne" board...

1 hour ago, jwalk said:

Who told you it was?

Frankly I have to admit I'm surprised you ask this question... I for one have repeatedly been told by people around me (mostly family, but also teachers, co-workers etc) that my skin is a reflection of poor health. Health checkups seem to have doctors finding me to be in perfectly "normal" health though (although a bit underweight). I know my experience is just one person's experience. But... it's all I can talk about since it's all I've ever experienced if that makes sense lol. And... I'm pretty sure lots of people with acne have the experience of concerned family members commenting on the skin as a reflection of poor health. Or maybe I'm just assuming too much I dunno...

Anyway, thanks for reading! I'm going to keep trying to fix my acne but gotta admit it's frustrating feeling like I'm decades into trial-and-error. Sometimes I feel like even if I ever clear my acne I won't be certain of what did the trick. I know that was the case with my back acne... it went from severe (bloody!) to non-existent for no apparent reason (I grew out of it?)... while the face acne has persisted for almost 20 years...

Hope everybody can clear their acne. Seriously why is acne? Why does it exist lol. What possible evolutionary/biological purpose could it have. I heard somebody say once that maybe the purpose of acne is to reduce the population by making sufferers less attractive (and therefore less likely to procreate). That made me laugh (and cry at the same time) hah!

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Posted (edited)
On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 5:25 PM, podo said:

Hi there! Err.. I'm not a scientist myself, I'm just referring to articles like this that I have come across online. I couldn't tell you what the the sample sizes are or who funded/commissioned the study etc because I haven't actually read the source material (the studies themselves - I think the article does mention who ran the study). I've come across these claims several times (probably the articles are referring to the same study, I really don't know as I haven't cross-referenced), while looking up stuff related to acne, so it just made me wonder, based on my own experience - that's all. Which is all I can really do, since I'm not about to conduct a scientific study myself! To be honest... studies and statistics are just that... at the end of the day some study doesn't really impact my individual experience of acne (which is what I'm really commenting on here...) And... based on my experience, I really feel like acne is quite frankly poorly understood even by those who study it. Repeatedly being "promised" that some treatment will fix my acne has led me to this conclusion (I realise that this doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny).

The point I was trying to make by listing all of those variables is that just because an article claims that studies show something, it does not necessarily mean that those studies were accurate, or relevant, or that the data hasn't been misinterpreted by the person writing the article.

 

On ‎7‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 5:25 PM, podo said:

Seriously why is acne? Why does it exist lol. What possible evolutionary/biological purpose could it have

There are lots of theories - many of which are ridiculous.

There doesn't really need to be a purpose as such, it just needs to be a trait that doesn't exclude reproduction. As acne isn't really life threatening its possible to survive with acne long enough to reproduce so the "acne genes" would be passed on. Another thing to remember is that physical deformity and disease were much more common prior to the 18th century, so a healthy man with a bad case of acne may have been a better prospect than a man with clear skin and a bad case of the plague.

Our modern diet of processed foods may also be a factor, but I'm not 100% sold on that idea.

The most logical theory I've heard is that hundreds of thousands of years ago, when we all had hairy bodies and faces, the oil would have made the hairs look shiny and healthy and therefore made us more attractive. Now that we aren't as hairy, there is nowhere for the oil to go, so it clogs our pours and causes the acne. 

 

Edited by jwalk

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