This is not a physical condition caused by acne, but is a mental illness that can be debilitating. It shows up as a total preoccupation with some deformity, in this case acne. It makes the sufferer think they are ugly or disgusting, their acne is horrible, and their skin is awful. They are always near a mirror checking on their condition and obsessively check for flaws.

Most Common Skin Disorder

Billions of people have acne outbreaks in their lifetime. Its the most common skin disorder known today. While acne can be treated medically, acne dysmorphia is a symptom that can be treated of medications that treat acne. Acne dysmorphia has little to do with acne at all. Its a different disorder and is related to anorexia nervosa.

Weight is the trigger for anorexia nervosa, and acne is the trigger for acne dysmorphia. With this disease, a person is obsessed with their skin. It isnt unusual for someone suffering from acne dysmorphia to check mirrors hundreds of times a day to check for blemishes. What might be a mild case of acne can make them believe they are totally disfigured and ugly to look at. It can cause them to pick at their imperfections and tear away their skin until they bleed.

Compulsive Obsession

Its hard for someone to confide in another person that they have been caught up in this obsession. Just as it is for those suffering from anorexia, they are denying the fact they have a problem to everyone, including him or herself. Depression is also associated with acne dysmorphia.

It can cause patients to isolate themselves, stay away from other people, and ruin their social life. If it is left untreated, it could cause the patients to harm themselves.


So, what is the cure for acne dysmorphia? Its important to remember that dysmorphia is not because of the acne but a mental disorder that can become a crippling disorder. Depression caused by this condition could lead to suicide. The treatment must start with the mental aspects first. Frustration can result in suicide if not actively treated.

Acne dysmorphia has been successfully treated with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and hypnosis has been effective in treating this disorder. Another form of treatment is behavioral therapy and has been found to be effective in treating acne dysmorphia.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychological treatment for many depression related disorders. This treatment can be group therapy, individual treatment by a psychologist or psychiatrist and will help patients deal with their problem.

Group therapy sessions with others who suffer from the same problem helps to be able to talk about your problem freely with others that are in the same situation. Behavioral therapy might include taking antidepressants or other medications that will work in conjunction with therapy.

Its important to note, individuals must be treated with the type of treatment that fits them best. Group therapy may not be for someone who is extremely shy, but it could be for someone who is normally outgoing and willing to talk about his or her problem.

Often, just sharing and knowing someone else has walked the same path you are walking helps to overcome the problem. Individual therapy with a trusted professional can work wonders especially if medication is used with the treatment. Learning to thing positively and helping achieve a better self-esteem can be a huge help in treating this type of mental illness.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you resist the negative thought patterns that can disrupt your life. This therapy can help you to reframe your negative thoughts into positive affirmations of your worth. It is so important to relegate these negative impressions into the back of your mind and change them into positive reinforcements. This might take a while but it can be done. This therapy works for those with depression or other mental problems and it can work with those suffering from acne dysmorphia.

If you feel you or a loved one has a problem with acne dysmorphia, get them to a qualified professional. Ignoring the problem is not an option and could cause the person to do harm to him or herself.

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