One of the biggest movements I will hop onto in 2021 with no hesitation is the anti-acne movement. If this isn’t most people who suffer from acne’s biggest fear, it is definitely their nightmare. From people staring at you and asking whether you’ve not tried Gentle Magic or Dove, to people suggesting you change your pillowcases, like you aren’t already trying. Acne issues are the worst through teenage years until high school, and sometimes, right into adulthood. It does not have seasons so, perhaps, a little education for you.
The biggest argument is that acne is adolescents only supposed to happen during your teenage years. Well, the surprise is, although acne most frequently appears in adolescents, it also shows up for the first time in people in their 20s and 30s. People of all ages get acne. So, please stop asking people if they’re not too grown for acne issues. Not everyone has perfect skin. Some people also argue that acne is caused by dirt and the accompanying sentence is, ‘You must wash your pillowcases, my dear’. Ma’am, acne flare-ups cannot be traced to dirt or poor hygiene. In fact, washing too frequently or scrubbing too vigorously can irritate skin and make acne worse. Also, wouldn’t hygiene be at the top of my list knowing I have acne? There are literally a million things that contribute to acne. Stop jumping to the dirt side of things. ‘Die mense is nie vuil nie’. The other misconception people have is saying stress causes acne and if one stress less, the acne will go away on its own. No, stress does not cause acne. On the contrary, it makes it worse. Yes, I will try to stress less, but are you going to stress me less with your comments and stares? Another thing, acne does not just go away on its own. It requires treatment in order for it not to progress and worsen. Oh, lastly, there is a difference between a pimple and acne in the sense that acne is a disease and pimples are one of its symptoms.
As such, mind what you say to people suffering from acne because you have no idea how long they have been battling that. It also helps to not stare at someone who suffers from major acne because already, they are self-conscious and you are making it worse by making it obvious. Acne tempers a lot with the confidence of victims. Understanding it for what it is, is the best thing you can do to support someone who suffers from it.
• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content creation.