W5 Activity: Acne

I believe the role of medication have taken over America because most people think the only way to get over something is to pop a pill. I also believe it is unfortunate that Americans depend on medication so much that they become addicted to them, then find ways to get the medication to support their addiction even when they are not ill.  I do not think Americans even care about the side effects that come with each pill, they just want to relieve the pain/sickness.  I believe the “placebo effect” should be in full affect so our country won’t be addicted to taking pills. There are other ways like natural remedies to treat an illness. I believe it says a lot about the citizens of Americans to depend on pills as treatment.

According to The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, acne is a disease that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows.Most pimples are found on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a serious health threat, but it can cause scars. I chose Acne as a heavily medicalized condition because a lot of Americans deal with this on a daily basis. I have had to deal with Acne back in high school and it was a terrible stage of my life. I began to drink a lot of water and wash my face everyday which cleared my acne up by the time I got to college.

3 thoughts on “W5 Activity: Acne

  1. Thanks for your post this week! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on acne and its medicalization in the U.S. Acne is an interesting condition in that it is often perceived to be a modern phenomenon, but there is strong evidence suggesting its prevalence in ancient communities. Though it is a condition that has persisted for generations, I do feel that public perception of it has changed with time.
    Something notable about the progression of healthcare in the U.S is its trend toward offering treatment for individuals when it isn’t imperative for the patients physical functioning. This truth is highlighted by the burgeoning plastic surgery industry in modern America. I believe this increased reach of medicine in the U.S may have influenced how we perceive conditions like acne. For example, while in the past acne may have been brushed away as an unfortunate skin condition that can only be managed moderately, in present day America we are constantly seeing advertisements for the newest, most effective acne treatments. This is evidenced by your attached Proactiv ad. Additionally, I think the use of cultural icons, singer Katy Perry from your attached ad being a good example, has been used to perpetuate the idea of perfect skin being desirable and thus its counterpart, acne, being an illness demanding treatment.

    “Ancient History of Acne”, last modified March 9, 2010, http://www.acne.org/blog/2010/09/03/ancient-history-of-acne/

    Peter Conrad and Deborah Potter “Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults: Observations on the Expansion of Medical Categories”, Social Problems 49 (2000): 4 accessed August 7, 2016.

  2. Hello,

    Your post on the medical condition of acne and how it is portrayed throughout the United States was very well written and very informative. I completely agree with your opinion on how individuals in America tend to rely on popping a pill to cure or relieve their medical conditions and do not care about any side affects that may result because of this. This way of thinking can result in a dangerous continuous pattern where people will just begin turning to taking pills for any condition/problem they encounter, and then will possible become addicted which will require more and more medications to help them be able to function on a daily basis.
    I also found your description of the mechanisms behind the acne disease to be very interesting and thorough. Acne is something that I experienced personally throughout middle school and high school, and even though it is not a disease that is harmful to your health, it can still be very difficult to deal with and have affects on your mental health and how you perceive yourself. I think that this aspect of the disease allows for there to be some sort of intervention to allow for the individual to live a normal life. Acne is something that can be treated relatively quickly and easily depending on the severity and other contextual factors. Despite the disease not being imperative to one’s overall health, no one should have to deal with not wanting to leave their house because they are ashamed of how they look.

  3. Hello,

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading your post about acne and how we are now using medicine as a new treatment plan. I believe that we are starting to call acne an “illness” because there are so many medications and treatments for it. The thought that we can take pills for acne or put topical medicine on it makes it an “illness.” I also think that these medications are so popular because America has an over-importance on beauty and perfection due to media which makes these young men and women use this medication.

    I read an article on acne by WebMD, which states that any acne can be treated with medication and says that medication is the answer. This article stated that acne develops when the oils on your face block your hair follicles and bacteria work their way into the follicles. The body’s immune system them have to attack these bacteria. I think this is why many people would consider acne an illness, because bacteria gets into your skin and your immune system has to work to fight it off. In our history of medicine I believe that when people hear that bacteria is involved or that the immune system is in need they think of that condition as a illness. I believe this is a reason why acne is starting to be looked at as an illness. But I believe that largest reason why it is being looked at as an illness is because of how much attention we are drawing to it. In the media you see so many commercials for acne medication. There are also new treatments for acne such as plastic surgery and laser removal. All of this media and attention towards acne has lead to many types of medication and treatments, which has lead to people thinking of it as an illness.


    Conrad, Peter, and Deborah Potter. “Society for the Study of Social Problems.” University of California Press. April 17, 2010. Accessed April 7, 2016. http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp204-us16/files/2012/06/Conrad-and-Potter-From-hyperactive-children-to-adult-adhd.pdf.
    Vol. 47, No. 4 (Nov., 2000), pp. 559-582

    “Teen Acne: Prescription Treatments for Acne.” WebMD. Accessed August 7, 2016. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/teen-acne-prescription-treatments#1.

Leave a Reply