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Acne Affecting Career Situations?

5 Situations Where Acne Can Affect Our Career

Acne is a very common problem, not only among teenagers during their puberty, but among adults, too.

Types of Acne

Being a skin specialist clinic, we hear a lot from patients on how their skin conditions can affect their daily life. One of the most common issue Dr Peter always hears about is how acne can affect their career in various situations.

So we’ve compiled this list of top 5 situations, according to our patients, where acne can affect our career!

Dr Peter Ch’ng is a Consultant Dermatologist actively involved in numerous talks and workshops, and is an esteemed contributor to dermatology research and publishing internationally. He practices at both Dr Peter Ch’ng Skin Specialist Clinic in Desa Park City and Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

1. Job Interviews

Acne may affect interview performances

This is the most common issue raised up by patients coming to the clinic for acne treatments.

You’ve gotten yourself suited up, neatly done your hair, documents all ready, and practised your speech and answers multiple times. But there’s still one thing wrong: your complexion is still oily and you have you usual inflammatory acne outbreak making your face having more red spots than any other colour.

Inflammatory acne

“I can’t even describe how bad I feel when the interviewer’s first glance is at my acne-filled face. My anxiety multiplied, and when he asked me about how long have I had this facial condition, I felt miserable.” – fresh graduate, inflammatory acne condition

Although this doesn’t mean that interviewers will discriminate a candidate based on acne or skin condition, a psychological study in 20121 has shown that interviewers can be distracted by skin conditions, resulting in them focusing less on the candidates’ performance and personality.

This is for sure not a black and white issue. That is, we can’t say that acne will inhibit a job interview process, or one would be 100% smooth sailing as long as the candidate don’t have any skin conditions or problems.

However, first impression counts for a lot during an interview process. And having severe acne conditions can certainly affect a person confidence and self-consciousness, bringing down our performance level, affecting this very first impression of ours.

Are you preparing for an interview anytime soon? If you need a medical treatment to get rid of your acne problems quickly in time, contact the clinic at +6011-22882299 or book an appointment with our doctors here!

2. Doing sales/business development

Acne can affect confidence in business meetings

A popular issue among adult patients visiting to the clinic, acne problems can also affect one’s confidence in the business or sales line.

“They say that stress can cause acne outbreaks. But how can I not be stressed when I’m not able to even hold a proper conversation with customers who prefer to speak with ‘better-looking’ people? Even when we speak, half the time they were looking at my acne and pimples” – sales executive, inflammatory acne condition

In the process of communicating a sales pitch, eye contact plays a major role. However, do you sometimes find yourself trying to instead avoid eye contact due to your skin condition?

This is especially significant in creating a positive first impression. We don’t want our customer to feel uncomfortable speaking with us, do we?

Comedogenic acne

“When meeting with customers, I always feel a notch below my ability because of my acne problems. I feel that people were looking more at my face than listening to me. It doesn’t help that I’m supposed to be a walking representative of my company too.” – brand ambassador, comedogenic acne condition

Although selling skills or product value has little to do with our skin condition, a study in 20122 has shown the psychological impact acne can have on our performance. Like in interview processes, our first impression for others is very important, so having healthier skin on our face can help not only aesthetically, but mentally, too.

3. Meeting people at your workplace

Acne can affect confidence when meeting people

Third on the list is meeting up with people.

Do you meet with people often when you’re on the job? Be it meeting clients for a business appointment, or interacting with customers, or simply being present at your workplace greeting both customers and colleagues. In fact, almost all jobs require meeting people from time to time.

“As a hotel receptionist, we want to let our guests feel as comfortable as possible when they are in and around our premise. But it’s hard to do that when my acne on my face alone can turn people off or make them think twice before returning a simple greeting.” – hotel receptionist, inflammatory acne condition

When we meet and greet people, we want to be projecting confidence. This is very individualised, as the confidence levels vary from one person to another. But having acne or skin problems can almost certainly affect our confidence when trying to perform and interact with others effectively.

We may get doubts on ourselves, thinking “am I really in top form today?”, and a look at the mirror may give us a less desirable answer.

“People often forget that looks are actually really important when serving in the food and beverages industry as well. Because of my severe acne issue, I always wear a face mask when serving customers their food – how do you think they’d feel when they see a guy with a face full of oily pimples preparing and serving their food?” – restaurant helper, inflammatory acne condition

4. Speaking in events or giving presentations

Acne can affect confidence when speaking in public

I remember an advice given to me when I first started giving presentations – media and slideshows are just a supplementary help, you are the star of the show. But what happens if the star of the show is not in tip-top condition?

In order to speak well in presentations, we need to have a high self-esteem. But it has been found out that acne can affect our self-esteem instead, both for adolescence or adults3.

“I remember conducting a sales training session for a company selling beauty products. It certainly wasn’t my best day, especially when I had to speak with my acne-filled face in front of all the good-looking beauty product sales representatives. I bet half of their attention were on my face, as I seemed like the only one who didn’t have perfect skin there.” – professional sales trainer, comedogenic acne condition

This applies to any jobs related to speaking in public, where you get all the attention focused on you, like event speakers, lecturers, trainers or presentation speakers.

Do you have an event coming up? Instead of covering acne with thick makeup or concealers, why not consider getting a treatment to quickly get rid of acne once and for all? Contact us at +6011-22882299 or book an appointment with our doctors here!

5. Social situations

Acne can affect socializing

This issue is usually raised up by the younger patients.

“I grew to hate gatherings or social situations in work, because I always seem to be the worst-looking out of the group. It doesn’t help when people start asking about my face, too. I get questions like ‘haven’t you tried product x’, or ‘didn’t you take care of your skin’ all the time.” – financial analyst, comedogenic acne condition

When we have acne, we tend to be less active in social situations, and also be more sensitive towards others when socialising. This can stem from our self-conscious behaviours because of our self-doubts due to our acne problems.

Being overly sensitive of our acne can also cause social stress, especially when people ask about our skin condition or talk about it.

“I remember meeting up with fellow business associates for a dinner once, and our conversation starter was about my acne. It even turned out to be the first topic we talked about, and in length too. I mean, who would like a group of people to be talking about the very condition that you’re so frustrated about?” – business development manager, inflammatory acne condition

However, we should also remember that acne is not an end-all problem. It is certainly treatable, and there are several different treatments available.

Just last week, Dr Peter wrote about how to get rid of acne fast, so that it doesn’t affect our job – read more about it here: Patient Mailbox: Acne Affecting My Job.

We’ll be going back to the Patient Mailbox series next week with Dr Loo, so watch this space!

As an esteemed dermatologist and skin specialist, Dr Peter prides himself in being able to treat acne patients of all types, with a 100% acne treatment success record. If you’d like to ask more about acne or have a discussion with Dr Peter, you can contact us at +6011-22882299 or book an appointment here!

Dr Peter is a Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Peter Ch’ng is a Consultant Dermatologist actively involved in numerous talks and workshops, and is an esteemed contributor to dermatology research and publishing internationally. He practices at both Dr Peter Ch’ng Skin Specialist Clinic in Desa Park City and Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

Read more about Dr Peter Ch’ng Here.

1 Discrimination against facially stigmatized applicants in interviews – Medical Journal
2 Psychological Impact of Acne Vulgaris – Medical Journal
3 Cause and Effect: The Relationship Between Acne and Self-Esteem in the Adolescent Years – Medical Journal



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