When I was 15, my family took a vacation to Hawaii, which was a very big deal. It was one of the few vacations I remember that didn’t involve an epic cross-country road trip to visit relatives spread across the Midwest. Not that we didn’t enjoy those trips too.
But Hawaii. H A W A I I. This was huge.
While we were on this much anticipated, memory-making trip, I acquired an unfortunate souvenir.
My very first case of pimples. Topped off with a very nasty sunburn, as a consolation prize.
So now when I tell people that I have the skin of a 15 year old, they think I’m kidding. I wish that were the case, but it’s not funny. Not at all.
See, now I have fought the good pimple fight for over 30 years. Even when I think I am winning the war, it’s only temporary. They get stronger, bring in their nasty in-laws, set up shop, and start their voodoo. Why they call it “adult acne” I have no idea, since this is the same acne I have had since way before adulthood. What, did it grow up with me or something?
I have tried so many pills/creams/potions/acne systems/witches brews over the years. Each time something works for a while, I relax and forget about my face.
And the zits get angry.
I think even my zits have zits. There is probably some dermatological term for that, but I’ll just call it zits on zits. When I
spackle make up my face in the morning and attempt to cover them up, they wind up looking like small wasp nests on my chin, covered in mud. If they were on my forehead, I could go back to bangs and hide them, but I am NOT willing to grow a beard.
Since I work with elementary school kids, of course these trophies on my chin often become a source of discussion. Not in a polite way, either.
“Mrs. K, what is that thing on your chin? Does it hurt? Why do you have that? Eewwww!” It takes everything I have to keep from saying what I really want to say……. “Get ready kid, because by my calculations you are only about 7 years away from having a crop of your own!”
The last few prescriptions I had worked pretty well together if you did them in the right order. But now there’s a new catch. You could get these new prescriptions at a reduced price, using a special card, for three months.
And then they go up to $50 a month. Each.
I think the acne drug manufacturers must hire former drug dealers as their marketing and sales dudes. Think about it; the premise is almost the same. Lure you in with cheap promises of happiness and clear skin. String you along for a few months, as you keep coming back for more of that good-looking, zit-free skin.
And then…..BAM! Fifty bucks, please. Oh, times three.
You want it, you know you do. But there is that little voice inside your head speaking ever so softly “think of all the other things $150 could buy.” So maybe you do it once, but then you quit cold turkey. Swear you can do without them, those clear skin pushers.
It’s tough for a while; you try and go back to the basics of skin care and beat them at their own game. You feel victorious and proud; maybe buy yourself a few new
jars of spackle makeup items to help. Things seem to be really going your way….maybe you are finally going to outgrow your teenage acne, after all these years!
And then they come back. With all their nastiness, bad karma, and voodoo. The Adult Zits.
Maybe they’ll give me some more free samples. You know, just to try them out for a while.