How to Not Let Acne Get You Down

Three Parts:Getting TreatmentFeeling GoodBoosting Self Esteem

Many people experience acne at some point in their lives. Acne can be mild or severe, and there are a variety of treatments available. However, treatments can take time to work. In some cases, they may not be effective at all. There are plenty of ways to stay positive while you deal with your acne.

Part 1
Getting Treatment

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    See a dermatologist. This is an important first step. In many cases, acne is curable when treated properly. Dermatologists specialize in treating skin conditions. A recommendation from your doctor will take the guesswork out of trying to treat your acne. You’ll likely feel better just knowing that you’re taking an active step toward healthier skin.[1]
    • Dermatologists may prescribe special creams or face wash.
    • In more severe cases, antibiotics or laser treatments may be necessary.
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    Be patient with treatment. It’s natural to want cures to work immediately. However, many treatments for acne can take 6-8 weeks to work. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate improvement.[2]
    • Take a snapshot of yourself once per week during treatment. You’ll be able to compare the photos over the course of treatment.
    • Stay consistent with the treatment. Don’t skip medication just because you don’t see results. Consistency is important when treating acne.
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    Use acne-concealing products you wait. There are many products that are safe to put on your face while you have acne. Sunscreens, moisturizers, and tinted acne treatment can help hide acne outbreaks.[3]
    • Only use products with the word "noncomedogenic" on the label. This means it won't clog your pores, which can make your acne worse.
    • If you wear makeup, be sure that it is oil-free and water-based.
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    Avoid picking or scrubbing the outbreak. This can be very tempting, especially if your outbreak is itchy. However, scratching and picking will lead to scarring. It will also further irritate an already sensitive area.[4]

Part 2
Feeling Good

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    Lower your stress level. Stress isn’t a direct cause of acne, but it can make acne worse. Make sure to get enough sleep and find moments in your day to relax. Try lessening your responsibilities. Perhaps you can take fewer classes in school, or cut back your hours at work.[5]
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    Stay social. When acne gets you down, you may have the urge to disappear and stay inside. If you have the tendency to avoid people, try to fight it. Socializing is a great stress reliever, and can help remind you that there’s more to life than how your skin looks.[6]
    • Try talking to a friend about your struggles with acne. Sharing feelings of anxiety with someone you trust can be very helpful.[7]
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    Take care of your whole self. There’s so much more to your physical health than how your skin looks. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and practice good overall hygiene. These actions can boost self esteem, and are great for healthy skin.[8]
    • Meditation has been shown to help improve anxiety and boost feelings of well-being.[9]
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    Do things you enjoy. Take time to enjoy your favorite hobbies. If you enjoy art, sign up for an interesting class. Join an amateur sports team, or a meetup group.
    • Doing things you enjoy will boost positive feelings and feelings of self love.
    • Time flies when you're having fun! You'll get your mind off your acne while you wait for treatments to take effect.

Part 3
Boosting Self Esteem

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    Seek counseling. Even though acne is a physical condition, the psychological effects can be severe. If you notice that you haven’t been going out or engaging in normal activities, you may benefit from counseling. Seek out a therapist with whom you can discuss your feelings. [10]
    • Let the therapist know what you’re going through. They may recommend private sessions or that you join a therapy group.
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    Join a support group. There are many people struggling with self esteem due to acne and other conditions. Support groups are generally free to join and can help you remember that you’re not alone.[11]
    • If there is no support group in your area, join an online forum. There are many online forums in which people discuss their struggles with acne.
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    Have photos professionally touched up. You may want to have a few pictures of yourself touched up to remove the signs of acne. That way, you won't always have to look at reminders of an outbreak.
    • You may be able to touch up photos yourself with design software.
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    Avoid negative self-talk. It’s common to say negative things to ourselves and be very self-critical. However, this behavior can negatively affect how we feel about ourselves in the long term.
    • Turn negative thoughts into positive ones. For example, if you say to yourself, “I can’t stand how I look,” find something that you do like about how you look. You could instead say to yourself, “I did a great job styling my hair today,” or “These pants are an awesome color for me.” [12]
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    Focus on the great things in your life. Remember that acne isn’t the only thing going on in your life! If you get preoccupied thinking about your skin, change the channel. Remember how much fun you had at that party last weekend, or how your boss commended you for your great work yesterday. Spend time looking forward to the fun stuff you’ve got planned this month.[13]


  • Get advice from a dermatologist before trying any new acne treatment. Some creams and face washes can do more harm than good.
  • Understand that some acne isn’t treatable. You may try many treatments with little result. If this happens, keep taking good care of yourself. Don’t get discouraged.

Article Info

Categories: Acne