Experts say the emotional impact of acne needs to be taken more seriously

If you suffer with acne then you'll know how hard it can be

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Unless you suffer from acne, there's no way to understand just how difficult it can be to live with. Even with all the makeup and skincare in the world, acne can seriously take its toll on your self confidence, and this week charities are arguing that it needs to be taken more seriously.

Rather than simply labelling acne as a pesky skin condition and a few spots, experts are warning that there needs to be more respect and care shown to girls and guys who live with it and the negative impact that it often causes.

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Serving a reminder of just how life-affecting acne can really be, James Partridge, founder and chief executive of disfigurement charity Changing Faces, says attitudes towards its emotional impact desperately need challenging.

"We need to show respect, help people cope, not belittle and stigmatise. Every year there are instances of suicide due to people's distress around acne," says James. "Self harm is also very common."

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Consultant Dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto agrees, as she told Newsbeat: "The anxiety that skin disease creates often gets neglected. Because it's not going to kill you, it falls at the bottom of a list of what needs to be done.

"I often see patients who refuse to make eye contact. People who grow their hair so it covers their face. People who refuse to go out, go to work or to go to school.

"If you've grown up with the mindset you're a spotty teenager, the negative body image can stay with you for many years afterwards."

If you're struggling to cope with the effects that acne is having on your life, Dr Mahto added that it's important for you to seek the help that you need, and that you're totally entitled to asking for.

"If acne is causing problems with self confidence, anxiety, depression, if it's stopping you doing anything you want to, then you should get medical help," she said.

Do you agree that we need to start taking acne more seriously? Relate to all of this? Let us know with a tweet to @Sugarscape.

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