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As a long time acne sufferer in my youth, I often felt the need for relevant information and advice regarding acne. However, those were the days before the advent of the internet, and more often than not, I found myself poring over health magazines, leaflets of new anti acne medicine and discussions with friends. While browsing through various websites however, I chanced upon a link that led to an online acne forum. Now this is a revolutionary development that I sorely wish I had in those days! An acne forum of any sort, even if only offline, would have helped me deal with not just the physical symptoms of acne, but also with the fear and embarrassment that acne brought on. So, I delved into the acne forum with relish to see what developments had taken place in the acne field.

The adventure left me with mixed results. On the one hand, there was an impressive growth in the amount of information available in the acne forum to give even a casual reader all the hard facts about acne. For instance, one of the acne forums I visited busted some of the acne myths that we all grew up with. This particular forum for instance once and for all set to rest the age old belief that acne was a result of poor facial hygiene. The acne forum did not do so through didactic arguments. Instead, the acne forum was characterized by relevant scientific facts, clear explanations and a lot of concrete, real life examples. Another thing that I found in the acne forum was that a majority of the participants were far better informed than in my time. Thanks to the forum, they were well equipped with the knowledge and the means to deal with their acne related issues.

But some of the other aspects of the acne forums set me thinking. In one of these acne forums for instance, I found a participant giving out all kinds of conflicting information. Some of the information he doled out was right. But some of it contradicted the right information. Ultimately, anyone going through this acne forum would be more confused than informed. I also found that these forums had become a sort of hanging ground for the depressed, the embarrassed and the plain ill informed. These people, rather than concentrating on getting the required knowledge and advice to deal with their acne problems, became a source of fear and embarrassment for all the others. Not only were they paranoid about their own problems, they were spreading all kinds of negative information about acne in general and cooking up conspiracy theories to scare of the others as well.

All things considered, I concluded that while such forums were important to spread information about acne, they could also scare people by including a few lumpen elements. I’m pretty sure the technology exists to weed out such undesirables and hope that can be done sooner than later for the greater common good of all acne forums.
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This “Acne Forums” article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as professional medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, a dermatologist’s recommendation.

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