I had problem with acne a long time ago (in a galaxy quite, quite nearby). I was in my adolescent years and the hormones were kicking in. The problem with acne is that it not just manifests physically, but also psychologically and socially.
I still have outbursts of a pimple or two every other week, but it’s pretty much manageable now. But back then it was a different affair. I didn’t know much about it. Initially, I thought something was wrong with my body. Looking into the mirror became a scary chore. I was constantly worried whether a new pimple has surfaced or not.
I have distant relatives who have pocked holes on their faces, and my parents reminded me that if I scratch my pimples my face would become like theirs too as I grow up. This scare tactic wasn’t much helpful in handling the stress. In fact, it added to it.
Friends and classmates weren’t of much help either. It’s standard to make fun of acne among teenagers. Some are lucky to get away without it, most catch hold of mild acne (which disappears soon enough), while the rest are left to deal with the serious stuff. Naturally, this creates a social hierarchy, where those with acne are treated differently than those who don’t.
As a result, I felt insecure, humiliated, dirty, ashamed, embarrassed, and every other synonym you can add to the above. It was a frustrating time. I tried washing my face multiple times a day, hoping that it would wash away the pimples. And once I had washed my face, I used to rub it with a towel to dry it. Today I know that doing this will only worsen the acne, but back then I was constantly worried about the state of my face.
No matter how hard I tried to dress better, the pimples were always there to ruin my appearance. It was very unsettling. I was touching my pimples every 10 minutes or so hoping that they would vanish. I would sometimes pick or squeeze the pimples to get rid of them. It was a gory mess often, with pus and blood oozing out of the zit. I had to tear a piece of paper from my notebook to stop it, especially if I was caught up in a class.
It was a depressing period. I still had fun, but being constantly worried about the pimples ruined it to some extent. I wish I could go back in time and do that, but I can’t; this blog post is a way to do that.
I discovered later that the best way to get rid of pimples is to stop worrying about them. Don’t touch or pick them; don’t rub your face with a towel (instead, just pat to dry); don’t sleep with your face downwards (or on the sides); drink lots of water, and stay away from spicy and oily foods; don’t wash your face more than two times a day.
Use a face wash that is anti-microbial and also cleans your facial pores, removing dirt, dead skin cells, excess oil and pollutants. You can also use any herbal remedies that you are aware of; ask your elders for the same. Don’t irritate your skin by rubbing it with your hands or any other material.
The above mentioned tips are the basic prerequisites. There are multiple ways to tackle acne. Read the science of acne here and learn how to tackle it scientifically.
If none of the above methods work, visiting a dermatologist is the practical thing to do. Of course, you can also do this when the first acne outbreak occurs. It’s entirely up to you. If you are a teenager reading this, talk about the acne to your parents and make them understand how it’s affecting your life.
No matter what the condition, just stop worrying about the pimples. Don’t let it bog you down psychologically. It’s just a passing phase.