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Coping With Acne

Only in very rare cases can acne represent a serious general health risk. But, its effects can still be severe. The unsightly blemishes, the appearance of having unhealthy skin will almost inevitably lead to mild depression or worse.

One important method for keeping that outlook under control is to make reasonable efforts to combat the condition.

Not everyone can readily afford a professional dermatologist on an ongoing basis. But even one visit can provide tons of useful advice and a prescription for acne medication. That's worth quite a lot. Even though there is a substantial amount of information available on the Internet today, it's helpful to have someone experienced who can help interpret it.

The medicine itself is important, both to treat the disease and the psychological effects. As the patient lessens the number of lesions, and lengthens the period between outbreaks, the skin will clear. At the same time, even when acne is still present, knowing that one is doing everything possible to combat the condition promotes a better attitude.

Passivity in the face of acne creates a downward spiral. The person feels bad about having a skin disease. They look in the mirror and don't want to face the day, which includes other people who will see them.

But passively accepting the situation only worsens it. It reinforces the mistaken belief that nothing can be done. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If nothing is done, the condition doesn't go away or at least lingers much longer, and more severely than need be. That provides false evidence that there's nothing that can be done to make it go away.

Taking action tends to create a positive spiral. Severe acne won't normally disappear in a day, even with the best treatment. But fighting it leads to greater confidence that it can be fought, especially when reality helps show it as the condition actually improves.

That attitude has another, perhaps greater, benefit. It builds up the inner resources that one can deal with the challenge. It helps create a mental outlook that focuses on achieving other values, not dwelling on one unfortunate - and usually short-lived - problem.

Over 85% of those between ages 12-24 will get acne at some time. It is usually mild and usually only lasts a couple of weeks or less, with proper treatment. Since it's so common, one needn't feel singled out. Since it occurs to nearly everyone at some point, it can be accepted as a normal, if regrettable, fact of life.

Facing that reality isn't pleasant. But a realistic attitude that understands that bad things will happen, and that good things can be created, will help encourage us. Realizing that we don't have to passively accept those bad things, but that despite our best efforts they may take time to solve, contributes to a positive outlook.

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