Q: What is bullying?

A: Bullying is aggressive or controlling behavior involving a power imbalance. The behavior can be repeated many times. Bullying can include attacking someone verbally or physically, making threats, spreading rumors, and purposely excluding someone from a group.

Q: Why do people bully others?

A: Bullies often have a deficiency themselves and want to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse. Bullies may have been bullied themselves, have social problems, academic problems, lack of a loving household, or have a fascination with violence, power, and winning. 

Q: People make fun of my appearance, what can I do?

A: Everyone wants to fit in. Sometimes, if a person looks different from another, they are bullied. Certain differences in appearance are caused by physiological differences that we are born with. This includes skin tone, ethnicity, body hair, moles, birthmarks, hair color, eye shape, nose shape, and body shape. Everyone should be proud of their physiological differences because these differences are what make you special as a person.  On the other hand, there are certain differences in appearance that are more misunderstood including acne, psoriasis, vitiligo, large moles, large birthmarks, scars, crossed eyes, cleft lip, musculoskeletal disorders, and genetic syndromes. Fortunately, for most skin conditions, there are excellent treatment options and these should be explored first. For people with conditions that have limited treatment options, there are still support services and resources that can help.

Q: When I look at my skin, I lose self-confidence. What can I do? I feel hopeless and depressed.

A: For some people, their outward appearance is extremely important to their self-confidence and self-worth. I personally had problems dealing with this growing up and to this day, I still struggle with this problem. When I look at myself in the mirror, in pictures, or on camera, I see my acne scars.  What makes me push on ahead is that I know I am a valuable member of my family and community, and I want to continue to help people with their skin care problems. I guess for me, my self-confidence and self-worth is built upon my ability to contribute to society and help others. Your motivation may be different, but learning to recognize what you enjoy doing and how you interact with your family and in society is important in maintaining your self-esteem.

Q: I have a bad skin problem and don’t know what to do.

A: If regular over-the-counter treatments are not working, see a doctor or dermatologist. Doctors are trained to treat basic skin disorders. Dermatologists are specially trained to diagnosis all types of skin disorders. Fortunately, most skin conditions can be treated with prescription medications.

Q: I can’t afford to go to a doctor or dermatologist. What can I do?

A: A typical office visit to a doctor or dermatologist may cost between $50 to $250. Many cities and counties have community clinics that charge less than this. You can visit findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov for a listing of free or afforable health services near you.

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