Skip to main content

Acne and Self-Rejection: Does Acne Affect Your Self-Esteem?

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Having less than perfect skin can affect one's self-esteem, and acne, especially, has a way of eroding confidence. Has acne changed you?

Acne can negatively affect your confidence.

Acne can negatively affect your confidence.

If acne affects your self-esteem and gives you self-confidence issues, you are not alone. Millions of teenagers and adults have acne and many of them are quietly disturbed with the condition. Understandably so. However, no one should allow acne to erode their confidence nor must it stop them from having a great life.

To achieve this, here are three rules to follow. They have worked for many acne sufferers and can work for you or someone you love too.

  1. Aggressive acne treatment
  2. Determination
  3. Develop confidence

A Note on Support and Self-Help

It’s a wonderful thing when you have friends or family that you can confide in—you are one of the lucky ones that don't have to keep their worries to themselves. Introverts, for instance, have the tendency to keep stress all bottled up; this is a sure-fire way of feeling down in the dumps.

The good thing is that even if you aren’t one to ‘pour out your heart’, there are many good books and online articles that can help you regain your self-esteem and boost your confidence.

In the not too distant past, acne was more of an irritating condition; a trivial problem that was addressed in a lukewarm manner. There were more chronic ailments to be concerned about than blemished skin. Acne was merely regarded as a teenage problem that sooner or later may or may not go away. Today, it is a different story. Every boy and girl, man and woman wants absolutely flawless skin and will go any lengths to get it. This is a clear indication of why the makeup and skincare industries are booming.

It is no secret that more people have facial blemishes than those that don’t. Every person out there has, at least, a couple of pimples, whiteheads, and/or blackheads. Chronic acne which is about the most worrisome of the lot has many sufferers too. So, now that we know that a high percentage of people have imperfections, it is time to rethink how we approach societal standards of beauty, worry less about the uncomfortable condition, and start to develop a positive outlook.

Rule 1: Give Your Acne an Aggressive Treatment

The first most important thing to do is to develop a facial-care regimen. Treatment must not only be of the mind but the body as well. Having flawed skin is not the end of the world but maybe close to it if you don’t give your acne an aggressive treatment.

Develop a strict regimen and work patiently at it. If you don’t treat your skin condition, it will not disappear. Once you begin to treat your acne, you are on the road to regaining your self-confidence. You now have a goal and that goal is to start treating your skin.

Rule 2: Be Determined. Be Consistent. Persevere.

Once you have your skin-care regimen in place, be patient; persevere, and face it with a strong determination. Consistently is the key that will open up your mind and set you on a new path.

With a strength of mind to achieve better facial skin, it will not be too hard to regain your self-esteem, especially when you know that you are resolute in solving your acne problem.

Most importantly, look on the bright side.

A positive outlook can help how you look on the outside by improving your self-confidence.

A positive outlook can help how you look on the outside by improving your self-confidence.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Remedygrove

Rule 3: How to Regain your Self-Esteem, Even with Your Acne

It is now time to work on your self-esteem. Acne patients most times are embarrassed; at home, in class, in the shops, at the workplace and at the few (if any) social outings they attend. This discomfiture often leads to social withdrawal, a feeling that prevents chronic sufferers from interacting socially because they are self-conscious about their facial appearance.

Although we live in a world that lays great emphasis on beautiful celebrity-type flawless skin, don’t be fooled. Most of those great looking faces have blemishes too but they try not to let it affect them. They are constantly photographed; they party, frolic, and are constantly in the limelight. You can be like that too.

To improve your confidence and be self-assured, even with acne on your face, here is a breakdown of what you can do:

  1. Keep to a daily skin treatment regimen and do not relent. Wash your face often, exfoliate with homemade products at least three times a week if you have oily skin and a bad case of acne, but if you are just acne-prone and have dry skin, you need not exfoliate more than two times a week. Good skincare will help boost your morale.
  2. Know that you are not alone. There are millions of teenagers and young adults with acne. Many of them use heavy makeup to conceal it when they are out there facing the world. So, learn how to apply makeup to conceal your acne.
  3. Read inspirational books written by ex-acne sufferers and find out how they too overcame their self-esteem and low confidence problems. A mind is a powerful tool that can help you defend your skin against acne and boost your self-image.
  4. Don’t think too much about your blemishes, just continue to treat your skin. Whatever products you use to treat your acne, use them persistently until you start to see results. When you start to see results, it will make you feel great but good results don’t mean stopping treatment. Keep at it.
  5. Disregard rude remarks from nasty and judgemental people and keep away from toxic colleagues and friends. Stay close to positive minds and inspiring people. Nasty people have their own inner turmoil which makes them unpleasant to others. It is because they are not happy people themselves.
  6. Do things that make you happy. It can be anything from playing basketball to being a biker as long as it makes you feel good. Exercise, go to the gym, read happy books, party, start a craft, go for long walks, anything, as long as it lifts your spirits. Whenever acne gives you the blues, listen to some good music. Music calms the nerves and soothes the soul.
  7. Avoid the feeling of anxiety. Whether you believe it or not, everyone has their own problems and isn’t thinking about you so stop imagining that they are. They probably don’t even notice that you have acne. You may feel that all eyes are on you but be assured that 98% of the time, they are not.
  8. Keep a focus on your life goals. Don’t let your condition influence your aspirations or dim your dreams. Many models, air hostesses, actors, singers, executives, celebrities, and athletes have lousy skin too. And if you are a teenager with acne, there are millions of teenagers that have blemishes too. Don’t let it deter you but rather, expend that energy on taking care of your face.
  9. If your condition is chronic, see a dermatologist. It is best to treat acne before it degenerates to scars. Start treatment too late has its disadvantages – you’ll start getting used to your condition, accepting it, and do nothing about it.
  10. Going for counseling because you feel it’s ruining your life and giving you psychological problems is not really the answer and can be a waste of money. If you think that your self-esteem is at a low and you begin to experience bouts of depression, perhaps you should. However, if you don’t take care of the root of the problem, which is a skincare regimen, you are not ready to get on the path of recovery.
  11. If all fails, and it shouldn’t seek support through programs set up by those who have compassion and understanding of people living with acne. They have all been through it before. They will help you dispel feelings of isolation and hopelessness that is common amongst acne patients. Search online for Acne Support Groups, or, Acne Sufferers Forums. Alternatively, your doctor can refer you to a local group that helps people deal with acne problems.

Without trying to sound like a broken record: Work constantly on improving your skin, it is a wonderful feeling and well worth the effort. Do not give up, neither should you give yourself a timeline.

See a dermatologist if the condition is bad and follow the dermatologist’s advice. Once you approach treating your face and mind with an optimistic outlook, you are on the path of recovery. And whatever you are doing about it, just keep at it, even if it takes six, nine, or twelve months. Determination is the keyword and your road to a better lifestyle, high esteem, and self-confidence.

Final Tips

  • A diligent facial treatment will boost your morale.
  • Wash face at least twice a day to keep it free from oil and dirt.
  • Exfoliate regularly (at least 3 times a week) to get rid of dead skin.
  • Use mild skincare products to clean, tone, and moisturise your face.
  • Change your attitude, stay positive, and be thankful for the good things in your life.

On a final note, if you have acne and it is affecting your self-esteem and self-confidence, always remember this quote: "Try to change something you don't like, and if you really can't change it, change your attitude towards it".

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2009 viryabo


Indrė Šilkaitytė from Vilnius, Lithuania on November 26, 2015:

A very good article. Thank YOU!!! :)

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on May 05, 2013:

Up and Away, hi.

First of all, you say even with your acne, some girls think you are cute. That means you have a cute face and a good nature for them to feel so. All you need to worry about is clearing your face. When you start to work on clearing it, you'll be amazed how you'll start to see some slight improvement gradually and consistently. You MUST NEVER GIVE UP ON THAT.

Secondly, I doubt your parents will think you are crazy for asking to see a dermatologist. What is most important to you should be a clearer face.

Keep your face clean and ensure you wash it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Yes, washing your face at night can be hard to remember, but you want a clear face, free from acne and you need to do something about it, or it won't go away.

Try hard never to feel embarrassed. It's hard, but you can do it. Just do what you have to do.

You seem like a very nice person that people like and that shows that its you that they love and not your face, body, what you wear, etc..

Best of luck. I promise you, if you work on your skin with the help of your parents, in a month, you will start to see a difference.

Up and away on May 02, 2013:

Hey there. I have suffered from acne since the 7th grade, im not in 9th and im 14 years young. Every time im at school im embarrassed to look at girls or talk to friends. I never look them steaight in the face, i always look down or try to cover my face. Its horrible. I don't know how some girls would think im cute because they do, but i don't think so.. Im tired of looking in the mirror every single day knowing that i have to go to school with over 3,000 kids seeing these bumps on my face. It saddens me, im not confident at all. Everyone in my family thinks im fine even though i have acne but in reality im not. Inside me is just screaming for help, wondering why my face isn't as clear as everyone else's. I don't want to tell my parents to take me to a dermatolagist because they'll look at me crazy and say everything will be fine. And that they'll buy some over the counter products, which has made it worse.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on July 08, 2012:

Hello Akky,

Because ice pick scars are deep holes resulting from not treating acne in its early stages, they are not that easy to eradicate.

However, one of the best treatments i have heard of involves doing a punch excision that may close smaller pick scars.

If the holes are large but few, you may need a minor graft. But my advice to you is to talk to a dermatologist first, and find out if such procedures will work for your skin type.

Trust me. People will want to talk with you if you stay amiable and not self conscious. They don't really care what you look like so don't let it get to you. Many have problems as well, so its not only you. Always remember that you are blessed in other ways you may not realise.

As long as you seek help from your dermatologist and do something about it, you can look forward to better skin in the near future. Don't buy over the counter remedies as many may not work for you.

I wish you all the best akky. And stay positive, and work at it.

akky on June 08, 2012:

i need help !! serious help.i m 20 years old

i have ice picks sars on my face and my forehead too. these r the results of the acne i use to have since i was 17.these look ugly. Even my behavior changed after this thing happened. I cant look in the face of other people and surely they don't wanna talk to there any solution plz help.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 08, 2012:

Hi Amare, im sorry for the late reply. If you have black "scars", which i believe may not be real deep scars but surface scarring that you get after healing of spots/pimples/acne, keep exfoliating regularly.

With time, they will fade away.

As long as you keep on doing what you should do to bring out healthier skin to the surface of your face, it will begin to have a healthy glow and the scars will fade off.

The forehead ones are a bit more difficult, but with time... If the juice worked fine, continue using it but ensure its not too concentrated so it doesn't "burn" your skin. Its patience and perseverance that will make it work wonders.

And exfoliation is key!

Best wishes Amare.

Amare on March 22, 2012:

That's very helpful, Hub. Thanks very much!!!!! And the last question I have is what home remedies would u suggest me use to fade this black scars? I've been using lemon juice for some time and it did work but didn't fade them completely. The mark is still visible. By the way my acne is concentrated on my forehead and it looks black because of the scars.

Thanks in advance,

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 21, 2012:

Hello Amare,

Okay i must first tell you it IS NOT that bad. And as you want to do something about it, that's even better because its a start.

This is what i suggest you do.

1) Try your possible best to STOP popping your spots because that is what will develop into acne. I know it is hard because it has become a habit, but you must try Amare.

2) Make sure you treat your face diligently AND regularly, meaning keep it clean by washing with a mild soap at least 2 times a day, EVERY DAY. Morning and before going to bed is fine, but it must be regular.

3) Use acne preventing/fighting products everyday.

4) Set a goal. Start off with say 3 months. Work on your face regularly and you will begin to see results. Trust me.

5) Don't feel depressed Amare, just keep doing what you have to do. its all in your hands. If you work patiently at something WITHOUT GIVING UP, you are bound to be pleased in the long run.

And remember to channel your energy towards positive thoughts. Don't worry too much about what people think or say now. Worrying only wastes precious time needed to make yourself look good.

Just focus on getting your face looking better. That's what should be uppermost on your mind, nothing else, apart from your studies.

By the time you are 21, your face should look great and your self esteem boosted.

The secret is to make a habit of working on your face always. And its not really that hard!

Best of luck Amare

Amare on March 21, 2012:

help!!!!!!!! Hey Guys, i had a bad acne experience so far. And I have a bad habit of popping them which left me with black scars. I'm 18 and a university student. I'm very depressed. I hated everything. Even my behavior changed after this thing happened. I cant look in the face of other people, cant take a photograph either. I always see myself as a useless boy. The worst thing is I'm very disappointed when people stare at me for so long. Sometimes, I feel like committing a suicide. The only one I have now is God. In short, I AM TOTALLY IN A WORST SITUATION!!!! Help me please, what shall I do??

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 29, 2012:

Arrianna, i know exactly how you feel because I have been there before.

Firstly, DON'T DESPAIR. the way you feel is natural but you must now go a step further. Are you using any skincare remedy? If not, you should. Tell your mum to take you to a dermatologist.

If you are, that's good. But then stick to it religiously Arri. And i mean that you must use whatever has been recommended to you all the time. Don't ever stop, not even for a day.

Look in the mirror every morning and say to yourself "Im going to get rid of you bumps, and im going to work on you until i start to look good".

And trust me, you will get good facial skin if you work on it.

One thing though, try your very best not to feel embarrassed because that wont take them away either.

Remember, EVERYONE has one thing or the other that's not quite right with them. Buck teeth, BO, funny toes,etc.

In your case its only bad skin which is very easy to fight IF you are determined.

I used to worry just like you Arri, but i always kept to my skincare regimen and it did pay off in the long run.

Don't ever allow low self esteem to "grab" you. You will feel more encouraged when you start to see good results.

But you only get good results when you treat acne continuously without giving up.

Sometimes, it may seem what you use is not working or not working fast enough, but it probably will if you use it as you should for a minimum of 2 months before deciding whether its working or not.

Don't cry about it anymore. Wipe your tears and start to work really hard to fight your acne and build your self confidence up again.

I wish you the best of luck and a beautiful flawless skin.


arri on January 28, 2012:

My name is arrianna and I'm 14 years old I'm a freshman n highschool. I have really low self esteem. I can't even look in the mirror. Its gotten so bad tht I don't even look people in the face. I don't know what to do. I jus wanna feel pretty. I feel hideous. I tried everything :(. I'm losing hope. I just want to have clear skin. I want to have confidence again. Its so hard goin through life knowing I have all these bumps on my face. Sometimes I just wonder why did this have to happen to me. I don't want to go school because I'm not pretty like the other girls. I hate my acne..its terrible. I just sit in my room and cry.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 12, 2012:

Hello John,

Im so happy to hear this about your success. How you had acne for so many years, how you have finally combated it and how the results has boosted your self confidence.

Well done and congratulations.

What i can say is that your self determination, never really giving up, coupled with your dear parents assistance and guidance has gone a long way in making you achieve such wonderful results and a new lease on life.

I can bet that you will never suffer that degree of acne again. Your determined spirit will not allow it.

Best wishes for your senior year, college, and a brilliant future.


John Doe on January 09, 2012:

I have acne and have had it since i was 12 I'm now 17 and my acne is finally starting to clear up I started off using every over the counter brand and I automatically assumed more was better but I was wrong it made everything worse. By the time I was in 8th grade my acne was terrible so i decided to go to the dermatologist and the treatments would've worked except once again i used too much product. As my acne was not improving my father who never had acne thought the dermatoligist was a waste of money so I stopped going right before I went to high school. I had no self confidence starting high school and it affected my ability to meet new friends because I was not only nervous about high school but I kept thinking to my self no one will like me if I look like this. I tried proactiv and it made things better for awhile than after about 4 to 5 months my acne was worse than ever and the proactiv wasn't working. That was during my sophomore year and after that my mother who also suffered from acne took me to the dermatologist without my father knowing and this is when things started to improve I followed all the doctors directions exactly and used moisturizer (it helps a ton). Now I'm 17 and my acne is almost completely gone and I'm noticing more self-confidence and girls actually talk to me and I hear them saying how cute I've gotten. I'm starting to meet new people and more friends and hoping to be acne free for my senior year and college after having acne take away 2 years of my high school life

andrebreynolds on July 11, 2011:

THanks for this hub, this is very useful hub.

Samuel E. Richardson from Salt Lake City, Utah on January 07, 2011:

Not having suffered acne, this was revealing. My S-E drop was due to a pill I had to take that rendered me a zombie, and therefore a dummy in school. Nice hub.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on November 07, 2010:

Thanks Daniela, and thanks for visiting.


Daniela Daljac from AUSTRALIA on November 06, 2010:

This is very helpful hub. Thanks!!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 12, 2009:

Marisa, thanks for your comments, and that is a great tip you just gave me now that i think about it.

You may be right, i'll see what i can do about that.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on August 12, 2009:

Thank you Earnestshub for the nice comments. I'm glad to be of some help.

Kate Swanson from Sydney on August 11, 2009:

Good advice, although I worry about that word "aggressive". I'd prefer something like "pro-active". Some people might interpret this as a call to treat the skin aggressively with harsh products, which as you know, can often make matters worse.

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on August 11, 2009:

Great hub. My son has acne, and it is affecting his self image. I have shown him this article, and he is off to see a dermatologist next week. Thanks for the data!

Related Articles