Acne and the Pimple Positive Movement: Don’t Cover it up, Embrace it!

Those who have struggled with acne—those much dreaded pimples—know the toll it can take on self-esteem.

Thanks to a few Instagram-loving celebrities, showing off your pimples has become the thing to do.

It’s part of the larger movement to accept oneself as you are—you may have heard of sex-positive or body-positive—and now some have taken to showing off their pimple-prone skin.

To see this phenomenon in action, search any social media site for #acne to find photos of pimple-positive people.

Someone who has made a name for herself posting photographs in the body-positive vain is Hailey Wait.

“I got tired of waking up each morning and covering my skin up, and over time I noticed that it only made my acne worse,” Wait told Glamour Magazine in March. “I needed to let my skin breathe, and so as an experiment I started posting selfies on my Instagram that showed my acne. I was expecting loads of hate, but at the time I had a small but very loyal following, and instead of being disgusted, the majority of the feedback I got was praise.”

“I notice that many patients of mine struggle with self-esteem issues due to their acne. I am glad that there is this movement of acceptance of your skin for what it is. That being said, I recommend that anyone struggling with acne find a board-certified dermatologist to help improve their acne and minimize the chances of permanent scarring,” said Dr. Vlad Ratushny, MD, PhD, a Lahey Health dermatologist at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates in Beverly, Massachusetts.

If you think acne is just a teenage affliction, think again.

According to numbers from the American Academy of Dermatology, acne can affect anyone, but it’s not unusual for those in their 30s and 40s to experience bouts of it. Acne affects about 50 million Americans every year.

“Treating acne is a process that requires some trial and error before we find the right individual solution for each patient. There are plenty of topical and oral medications for acne so most patients are very happy once we can get their acne under good control,” said Dr. Ratushny said.

This iteration of the body-positive movement is all about feeling great in your skin no matter how clear or complicated it is.

After years of striving for a flawless complexion, it’s nice to see the likes of Lorde and Justin Bieber embracing characteristics normal folks deal with. And if you’re dealing with similar skin issues, reach out to your Lahey Health provider for ways to treat acne or for tips on how to remain confident in the skin your in.


*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.

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