Do You Use Social Media Less When Your Skin Breaks Out?

acne01Do you ever get nervous about posting photos of yourself on social media when you’re in the middle of a breakout?

According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 adolescents, more than half reported that social media makes having acne harder, and about one-third reported that social media increased their anxiety about their breakouts.

Here are some more statistics about the ways these adolescents changed their social-media behavior when their skin didn’t look as great as they wished:

More than two-thirds of the adolescents said that they believe most of their peers edit or somehow change photos of themselves to hide imperfections in their skin.

Eighty-six percent of the adolescents said they have had acne, and among those who said they have acne, 71 percent said it negatively affected their body image and attractiveness and 67 percent said it decreased their self-esteem.

And half of all the adolescents said they did at least one of the following things to avoid people seeing the imperfections in their skin:

  • Choosing not to include a photo of themselves with acne
  • Deleting or untagging a photo of themselves with pimples
  • Asking someone to remove a picture of them with acne
  • Staying off social media to avoid posting and seeing pictures of themselves

Wow—that’s a lot of pressure!

Perfectionism is rampant in our culture, and social media can increase the pressure to look perfect.

Has social media made it harder for you to accept yourself as you are, with all the challenges that come along with being an adolescent? What has it done to your anxiety levels? What are your strategies for helping yourself accept yourself when you don’t look as awesome as you wish you did? Share with us in the comments.

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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