#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 16th, 2013 12:25
#2 By: Christopher Waldrop, September 16th, 2013 12:49
I was one of the lucky ones. Oh, I was definitely part of the one-in-five group--the guy who, I suspect, was referred to as "pizza face" even by my friends behind my back. I consider myself lucky that my parents found a dermatologist who wasn't a quack, who didn't treat my acne with liquid nitrogen or scrubbing regimes, but who prescribed antibiotics. I've still got a little bit of a Bill Murray* thing going on facially, but my acne cleared up quickly.
For one of my appointments he was unavailable and I had to see another dermatologist instead. The first thing she said to me was, "Why are you seeing a dermatologist?" It was such a huge ego boost I nearly asked her to the prom.
Edit: I freely admit I consider it appalling that this look is considered "rugged" in men and frowned upon in women. It's a small consolation that "acne affects far more young men than women".
#3 By: Cary, September 16th, 2013 12:53
What I lacked in quantity, I made up for with quality... I didn't have many zits, but the ones that I got -- legend-ary!!! The lack of quantity also seems to be compensated for by extending the teen years into my middle age -- just got my semi-annual giant one (of course on the end of my nose).
#4 By: Mellivora Capensis, September 16th, 2013 13:12
They used to treat acne with radiation. Super effective, I'm sure, but one of my father's colleagues developed cancer later in life as a direct result.
#5 By: Chris, September 17th, 2013 19:04
I'll be 27 on Thursday and I still have persistent but probably technically "moderate" acne. It's actually gotten much worse over the years, and when it's bad I can look quite disfigured (thankfully, it hasn't caused appreciable scarring).
Every year I think "well, I'm finally old enough to be free of this, aren't I?" Nope, F you, my body replies. I'm tempted to go the antibiotics route, but there are myriad side issues related to that.
I enjoyed the article but until there's an issue-free cure I severely doubt the social effects of acne will go away. That's what's so sinister about it - there's apparently nothing we can do about it without causing other problems, it affects almost everyone at some point, and it's essentially benign - and yet there's a huge, probably evolutionarily-wired social stigma about it.
Even though I know better than to judge based on it, I still get a vague negative feeling about people when they have acne or other facial disfigurement. You can't help it. I'm conditioned to empathize and not judge harshly since often I probably look worse, but it seems clear that most people aren't like that and that that won't change anytime soon. Oh well.
#6 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, September 21st, 2013 12:25
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