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What Not To Say To Someone With Acne

Posted in General Health 20 Aug, 2015

Acne, not to be confused with teenage spots, is a horrible thing. Painful, embarrassing and difficult to shift - it can cause misery.

There are plenty of acne-related misconceptions out there, and sometimes these can lead to ignorant or thoughtless comments directed at those who have the condition. Let's take a look at some examples.

Wait! First off, what is acne?

It's when the skin becomes inflamed. Some people produce too much sebum, which we all have because it waterproofs and moisturises your skin. Excess sebum blocks pores and can cause infection.

Don't Say These Things

You need to wash more/less

Many folk with acne hear this. In fact they need to wash the same amount as someone without acne. Too much washing dries the skin out leading to cracks and splits, and stimulating sebum production, and not enough washing leaves it with too much sebum.

Try this face wash or supplement

Well, they probably already have. Most people with acne are desperate to get rid of it. What makes you think they haven't researched every product on the market?

Acne is often accompanied by sensitive skin, and overloading it with face washes and toners will probably make it burn like fire and get worse.

Can't you take some medicine?

When did you graduate medical school? Congratulations! People with acne don't need to be told they should take medicine. There may be very good reasons why they don't, perhaps they want to try other options first, or have been advised that certain treatments are not suitable for them.

Did you know you have scarring?

What's the likely answer to this question? It probably begins with f and ends in f. Acne sufferers know if they are scarred and they don't need you pointing out any perceived defects and making them feel bad about themselves.

You shouldn't eat chips

Firstly, there is no evidence that acne is caused by a poor diet. Secondly, before you you criticise the diet of others, perhaps you should look at your own. Do you have a spare tyre or three? Are your blood sugar levels verging on prediabetes because you eat processed meals each day and snack on crisps and coke?

Acne can run in families, so you might as well suggest being reborn to different parents while you're being so helpful!

Don't feel bad about your acne!

Simply bringing it up highlights they have acne. It's like me saying, 'Aw, don't worry about your lumpy thighs, I hardly notice' - you'll be paranoid and trying to cover them up straight away. It's not so easy to cover your face. Imagine being made to feel like that. Go and put some trousers on.

So what should you say?

Say nothing. Unless you are specifically asked, say nothing because it's their business. The best thing you can do is ignore the acne. Don't stare at their skin. Acne is nothing to be ashamed of, and there is no need to even bring it up.

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