eli5: Is there a medical downside to acne? Or is it purely a societal beauty standard issue?

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eli5: Is there a medical downside to acne? Or is it purely a societal beauty standard issue?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

I think it depends on the acne. There are different types like hormonal acne vs cystic acne.

Cystic acne causes painful cysts in the skin and terrible scarring if left untreated.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It can be physically painful especially if it’s cystic, but it’s not like medically dangerous or anything

Anonymous 0 Comments

Acne usually doesn’t come with any severe medical downsides, but beyond the aesthetic issue, it can be incredibly painful and frustrating to deal with, especially cystic acne. Lost sleep last night in fact due to a cyst on the back of my neck which hurts everytime I move it. I’ve been on Accutane twice, and each time it got rid of my acne entirely for over 5 years. I’d recommend Accutane to almost anyone with cystic acne, but doctors will usually only allow you to use it twice at most since it’s hard on the liver. The side effects are annoying but manageable, and if you’re female you’ll be required to be on contraceptive meds before and during the regimine.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I had severe cystic acne on my face, neck, back, and shoulders between ages 15 and 18. I had a tough time with my self esteem for a long time. The worst part is everyone would look at my chin then my eyes which really hurt, they saw my acne before they saw me. I became quite depressed because people would say that I dont shower etc. I now have a beard to cover the scars.

Anyways, It taught me great empathy for people, old people, bald people, short people, disabled people. they all have something that everyone sees first before seeing the person.

The only physical issues were pain, scarring, and my immune system was not as strong because its constantly fighting a giant infection all over my body so I got sick more often too.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The medical downside is the acne. It’s the pores in your skin reacting to being clogged with bacteria or other particles, so your immune system needs to work harder. It can cause scarring. It can increase cortisol levels due to stress. Untreated acne gets more difficult to treat over time and can turn into a full on staph infection.

While it’s not just a societal beauty standard, it shouldn’t be seen as a personal failure, since some people are more predisposed to getting acne due to genetic and hormonal factors. That said, if you have acne and aren’t at least trying to do what you can to minimize it with proper skin care, you really ought to take better care of yourself.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You’ve phrased your questions based on the assumption that ‘a medical downside’ and ‘a societal beauty issue’ are mutually exclusive – like acne is one or the other. I would suggest that’s a false assumption and that, in many cases, precisely because acne is a societal beauty issue it can also become a mental health issue.

[Acne and mental health](https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/acne-emotional-effects#) article from the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Only downside really is when it’s painful. I have had to go on Isotretinoin (Accu Tane) twice over the last 20 years because I get very painful cystic acne on my scalp. So painful that it is hard to sleep at night usually and anything that brushes up on my scalp can cause a cyst to burst. Haircuts were miserable and sometimes left my scalp more irritated for days. The medication got rid of my acne the first time for about 10 years. I am on it again and have 3 months left and hope it lasts as long again. Can also be painful and hard to wear helmets and protective stuff.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I just wanted to add that acne can be a manifestation some underlying medical issues such as hormonal imbalances or a poor diet. So if you have a lot of acne, this can come with medical downsides from the root cause of the acne.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Mental health is very tied to physical health. The stress and impact that acne can have on friendships and work prospects is immense and predictive of success in life.