Sunday, February 7, 2010

Under My Skin

I have always had decent skin. I have never really needed make-up. While my sister suffered from horrible acne in high school requiring multiple treatments including oral medication, I was able to get away with not washing my face on occasion and rarely ever wearing make-up. On a few occasions, people have even complimented my skin. The only time I ever have had any blemishes have occurred around that hormonal time of the month when most girls’ bodies go berserk. But now, everything is different.

It is no coincidence that I started having problems with acne in August, the same month I started teaching high school. At first the few bumps around my chin did not bother me because I knew they were due to stress and lack of sleep. I figured that once I got over the hump of being new to the teaching world (new for the second time), I (and my body) would settle into some sort of balance. Well, I apparently have yet to find any balance because I am still tired, still stressed, and still have acne problems similar to a 15 year old. There was even a period of about 6 weeks in the fall when I would touch my face upon leaving school each day, and every single day, I would find a new pimple. I finally stopped checking, but I am sure I am still breeding at least one new pimple per day. It is driving me crazy.

Now, thanks to the acne, I have to wear make-up every day. Each morning, I sit in front of the mirror and carefully apply foundation and concealer to hide the hideous red blotches on my face. In the past, a blemish here or there would never bother me and certainly would not encourage me to put on make-up! Now, though, I feel I cannot leave the house without attempting to hide the splotchy mess that is my face.

I really feel for all those who have suffered and live now with acne especially as a teenager. It’s hard enough to be a teenager, let alone one with a target smack-dab in the middle of your face for all to see. Yes, I’m sure it is looks worse to the individual than to the outside world, but the teenage years are hard enough. And even as an adult, it is hard not to be hyper-aware of your acne when you feel it screaming off your face.

I found myself close to tears this morning when I looked in the mirror. I can’t explain why it is such a big deal to me, but for some reason, my skin problems are really bothering me. I am sure much of my frustration just comes with being bothered by it at all. More likely is that the acne serves as a reminder of the stress that I am under, and feeling overwhelmed is never a good thing. Each red blotch has one of the following on it: a sleepless night, a difficult student’s name, a worry over being good enough at my job, a worry about whether or not I’ll have a job next August, about 60 professional development hours I have yet to complete, a worry over being a good enough parent. Unless I can find some seriously bad-ass skin treatment, my only hope is that by June, the stress will be gone along with the pimples.