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How my acne affects my clothing choices

The one aspect of my acne that i’ve refused to talk about is my body acne. Whilst it took me a while to be open about the acne on my face, it took me way longer to come to terms with the rest of it.

With my face acne, i was always quite vocal about it because i knew i couldn’t hide it; it was right there for everyone to see. I can, and do, hide any and all acne on my body and i hate how much it limits me. It bothers me less in the colder months, but now that we’re getting into summer, it’s more evident.

Whilst everyone else is out enjoying being in camisoles, crop tops and bardot tops, i’m stuck in long sleeves and high necks. My shoulders, chest and back are covered in painful spots and body acne always seems a lot more frowned upon than facial acne. I feel like everyone notices it, everyone is staring, and any body confidence i once had goes straight back down to zero.

This is gonna sound so dramatic but every time i go to get dressed in the morning, i just look at all the things i can’t wear yet and think about how much i’d love to style them. Body acne is perceived in a very different way to facial acne, it’s more hidden and a lot less accepted. We don’t see body acne anywhere and so i feel like i can’t wear a lot of the clothes in my wardrobe right now.

Society is still learning how to accept imperfections, and i don’t think it’s ready for body acne to be out and proud yet. It’s only just warming up to facial acne, stretch marks and cellulite. I’m definitely not ready to be the person who fully introduces chest acne to the world of instagram, but i’ll be there to support whoever does.

I think the first time i became aware of it was straight after i had been to the doctors for my acne the first time. I was so embarrassed about it that i didn’t even mention it to the doctor – i just said i needed help for the acne on my face so he gave me some cream and off i went. I couldn’t even admit the full extent of the problem to someone who was supposed to be helping me.

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High school was a horrible time. I found a really pretty dress for my formal dance – it was black, because i didn’t feel comfortable in anything else due to hyperhydrosis, and had a scoop back. On the night, i remember being distraught and begging my mum to put concealer on my back before eventually deciding to wear the dress backwards and my bra kept popping out. Not a great night all round.

You won’t really understand how self conscious it makes you until you’ve experienced something like it. It really limits you, and having the freedom to wear a vest is not something you even consider until it’s taken away from you. Sometimes i can’t even wear short sleeved t-shirts because spots like to show up on my arms as well.

All i want is to wear pretty summer tops, show off my neglected back tattoo, and not feel self conscious. It doesn’t feel like too much to ask. So why won’t my body and my hormones just co-operate?

Have you ever experienced acne on your body?

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