Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Big Cover Up

I've been involved in a really big cover up for most of my life.  It started when I was about 11.  My skin  exploded with pimples.  They were everywhere.  It didn't matter what I did, they wouldn't  go away.  Whenever I hit a big milestone, I thought they'd magically disappear.  Maybe when I turned 20.  Nope, 25 I guess.  Wrong again.  Definitely 30.  35?  Pretty please?

I was about 12 when my mom, who also suffered from acne, allowed me to wear make-up to cover it up.  And cover it I did. With a vengeance. I spent hours in the mirror hating myself and trying to perfect a subtle, not masky mirage of clear skin.  I was the Bobbi Brown of zit concealing.  Seriously gifted.  Finally, at the age of 39, after trying every product on the planet (besides tetracycline and Accutane which I refused to take because of the side effects), a combo of birth control pills and Retin-A finally, finally worked.  Just in time to trade in my zits for wrinkles.

I've had clear skin with only the occasional random fleeting blemish for about 5 years now.  And yeah, I take a lot of pictures now to make up for the hundreds of others I've torn up over the years.  But now, my oldest daughter is 12.  And her gorgeous face is marred with an infestation of pimples.  We've tried the over the counter products.  Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and zinc creams.  And yet they're still there.  During the winter break we went to the store together and got her some cover up.  The kind with acne medication in it.   Hoping it heals and covers it.

We all have it.  Maybe not acne.  But some kind of body image issue.  Something that makes you feel like hiding from the world and not showing your true face and the beauty within you.  Something that makes you feel less than.  Imperfect.  Inferior.  Insecure.

I want to take all my daughter's insecurities and pain away.  But, I know I can't.  They are her life struggles, not mine.  And she must overcome them herself to become the strong woman she's well on her way to be already.  I can't wait to watch her discover and uncover herself as the years pass.  Just as my mom did with me.





  

10 comments:

joeh said...

I was lucky, I had only a mild problem, much was not visible, and most of my peers had the same issue, I can imagine how difficult it gets as you get older. There are worse things, but it must mess with your ego. My daughter still has similar issues with rosacea and had bad acne until she tried retin-A.

Best wishes on this problem. Tell her the Cranky Old Man was never that bothered by girls with acne, lots of men do see inner beauty.

The Loerzels said...

@Joeh-Thank you so much for those words! My heart was breaking for her this morning as it's really bad right now. And she has the most beautiful insides ever!

Muriel Jacques said...

I had huge pimples too. I also had acne on my back. My parents didn't do anything about it. My daughter has acne. We went to see a dermatologist and he prescribed some antibiotics specific fir acne. Side effects, unlike accutane, are minimal. And it works. Best of luck, Marie!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I thought we escaped that, then found my stepdaughter had huge weight-related body issues she'd kept mostly hidden through her teens. And my 6-yr-old grandson said yesterday he gets teased because he wears his hair short. He's a star; I wasn't expecting this. Especially at 6. Sheesh.

The Loerzels said...

@ Muriel-I too had bacne! Are the antibiotics oral or topical?
@BOG-It is far more brutal to be a teenager these days with all the digital cameras and social media!

The Loerzels said...

Or a kid of any age…for that matter.

Cerebrations.biz said...

Yes, body image is a big issue- especially for adolescents. Glad to hear you are doing your best for your kids.

Sine said...

our oldest son has pretty bad acne too and we did the antibiotics (oral) for a while too and they helped, but as they do have side effects on your liver if taken long term we stopped again. And also refuse accutane, although our dermatologist swears it's okay. But we have friends whose son had his colon removed at age 30 and links it back to accutane as a teenager. So back to topical stuff like differin and aczone which helps a bit but not perfect. Especially as he also washes his hands a million times a day and can't stand creams of any kind on them. So not very diligent with those. My husband also had bad acne well into his twenties and even went so far as to have his tonsils removed because some doctor back than recommended it. I thinks it worked (no more acne) but I'm doubtful. It really isn't fair how it hits some people so hard and others hardly at all...

Leah Griffith said...

My daughter has acne. She's 30 and she's still battling it. I wish there were a magic bullet. I hate seeing her struggle with it.

Krista S. said...

Marie - I have been through what you described for yourself, and what your daughter is likely also experiencing - it is not fair, and more people than we can imagine struggle with it. I did antibiotics as a teenager, but it seemed the acne got progressively worse, which makes sense given the way antibiotics work. Various doctor-prescribed creams didn't work, either. Eventually, I took Accutane, and it worked 150%, but I do understand people's reservations about it. As the acne returned later in adulthood, I tried the Proactiv system of products, and they worked really well. They are a money-back guarantee, so it's not really a loss to try it. There are a ton of celebrity and everyday folks who say they have also had success with Proactiv. Either way, your daughter is lucky she has a mom who understands what she's going through, and one day soon she will be able to look back on this as a distant memory, I hope.

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