Q&A: Questions and Answers


Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

I have a bad case of acne, and it makes me feel like a real loser. How can I feel good on the inside when I’m ugly on the outside?

New Era

Acne is often a part of growing up, but it isn’t much comfort to know that a lot of other people suffer from the same situation and that in time it will go away. You need to know how to deal with it now.

First of all, it might be irritating to hear people tell you that what you are on the inside is much more important than how you look on the outside. You might even argue that if you looked good then you’d feel just fine on the inside. But you can test the truth of this statement for yourself. Analyze other students in your school—the ones everyone seems to like being around because they know how to be a good friend, how to listen, or how to be kind. When it comes right down to it, looks can only bring attention and popularity for the short term. If there isn’t something more significant inside, those attractive good looks won’t count for much in keeping good friends.

Think about your friends. You like them for how they treat you, how much fun you have together, and how they listen to you, rather than for what they look like. Give people a little credit. They will like you if you give them a chance to see the good points of your personality.

  • Blame your genes. Whether you’ll get acne and with what severity is determined genetically. If your parents suffered with acne in their teens, chances are you will too.

  • Don’t blame your diet. What you eat and drink will make no difference to your acne. Acne is affected by changing hormones. The only over-the-counter remedies for acne that may be helpful are those that contain benzoyl peroxide.

  • Keep your face clean. Wash your face at least twice a day with mild soap. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on special cleansers. Soap works just as well as other products to cut down on bacteria.

  • See a doctor. Doctors are learning more all the time about how to treat ailments like acne. Don’t be afraid to call and talk about your problem. They might be able to help.

Don’t just sit around waiting for your face to clear up. In the meantime, try to concentrate on being friendly. Don’t expect others to make all the effort in forming new friendships. You sometimes have to say hello first and make an effort to talk to those who want to know you.

We are sorry if people say unkind things to you. We know such things hurt. But if for a moment you can just look at your life with the eyes of eternity you can understand that the Lord truly loves you as his child. He can’t always protect you from the hurtful things you have to go through, but he will be there with unending love for you.

And go talk to your mom and dad about how you feel. In this case, they will know exactly what you are talking about because chances are they’ve gone through it themselves.

The interesting thing is that when you work on making your insides beautiful through kindness to others and devotion to the Lord, people will start to notice and appreciate that beauty too.

Readers

Beautiful people aren’t the people who possess society’s standard of beauty. They are the people with the terrific souls. I looked past their exterior, and they, in turn, did the same for me.

Heidi Kunz, 17 Aurora, Colorado

I know how you feel. I made myself believe that I was ugly and nobody would like me. I was rude to people; then I talked myself into thinking that they hated me because I was ugly. Then I realized it was me pushing people away.

Name Withheld

There are many ways to make your physical body more beautiful, but if you want your spiritual body more beautiful, you must lose yourself in service, humility, and love for everyone. If you do this, then people will not look at your outside but will see how beautiful you look on the inside. This is how you can feel good about yourself.

J. D. Williams, 16 Logan, Utah

In talking with my friends, both guys and girls, I’ve found that appearance is not a big factor in a relationship. Sure, everyone likes to look good, but if you’re cheerful and friendly to everyone, they’ll like your insides and your outside won’t matter.

Hailee Mortensen, 14 Phoenix, Arizona

Wash your face two or three times a day, and do things that make you feel good about yourself.

Cindy Brown, 13 Culver, Indiana

I have had problems with acne ever since I can remember. I asked Heavenly Father why he gave me this terrible curse. After a lot of prayer, I finally realized that my acne was not a curse from God, but simply a trial.

My advice to you is to see a dermatologist. They have many things that can help you. My doctor has done wonders for me. Also, pray a lot and ask Heavenly Father to help you get rid of the bad feelings you have about yourself. Remember you won’t be cured overnight, but with the help of our Heavenly Father and a doctor things will get better.

Name Withheld

It really is what’s on the inside that counts. If someone wants to be your friend, they’ll be your friend because they like you, not your face.

Brigette Imhoff, 12 Northbrook, Illinois

[photo] Photography by Matt Reier

[illustration] When David was chosen king, God told the prophet Samuel that “the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). (Illustration King David by Jerry Harston.)