A Patient's Guide to Acne
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Acne can severely affect a person

Acne is a Serious Skin Condition

Acne is a near universal skin condition-although there is great individual difference in how severely it affects a person, very few people have never had acne before.

For being a condition that almost everyone can relate to, many people underestimate the serious effects that acne can have, treating it as a temporary and minor issues that will naturally go away with time.

Acne needs to be treated as any other disease would be, and taken seriously as it can have very serious consequences to the patient both physically and psychologically.

Acne can cause permanent scarring

Scarring occurs anytime that the skin is damaged beyond the surface layer; it is the body's defense mechanism to protect the body by producing quickly forming, but imperfect skin. Skin diseases like acne can damage the skin causing scars just as physical injuries can, and are notoriously challenging to correct, once formed.

The best solution is to treat and control acne itself to prevent acne scars from forming.

Acne can be a cosmetic problem

The main symptoms of acne can generally be divided into comedonal acne which features whiteheads and blackheads, and inflammatory acne, which features pimples and pustules. Blackheads and whiteheads are not painful, but can present a cosmetic problem.

In particular, blackheads can appear like dirt that is embedded in the skin, although the color is actually associated with oxidized melanin, and has almost no relationship with skin cleanliness.

Pimples generally frustrate acne sufferers more as they are noticeable, and also quite painful. Deeper and often larger infections called cysts are more troublesome as they are extremely painful, and have a larger chance of forming permanent scars. As acne most commonly affects the face, where the skin is in the open and very visible, it can have a significant cosmetic impact.

Acne can have serious psychological effects

Perhaps most concerning of all, acne, which is often viewed by many as a purely cosmetic problem, can have serious psychological implications to the sufferer. Various studies support the varied social impact of moderate to severe acne. High levels of anxiety, withdrawal, and even depression are linked to acne.

Several studies have also shown a relationship between acne severity and unemployment. Although it is unclear whether these findings are due to employers discriminating based on the appearance of acne or whether it is due to the acne patient's psychological response, this should not be surprising in a culture that puts such a large emphasis on outward appearances.

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