I Developed Pimples Early And Found Ridicule And Judgment

Carrin Harris
I am a 28-year-old female
It’s been about fifteen years since the dreaded word hit me.  Acne: it’s an ugly, horrid word that fills me with dread. I developed pimples early and found ridicule and judgment from my family and my peers. Those years were some of the most difficult of my life.  Now I find the daily gamble in the mirror. I can wake up with a whole new face.  I know I am beautiful; maybe more inside than out sometimes.  But my acne makes me want to stay in some days, trade in my face or experience one flawless skin day.  My goal tends to be having a “not so bad” acne day.  I have tried every over the counter and prescription product possible.  I used to cake on make-up but most of the time I don’t even bother anymore.  I am an adult and I have acne.  I am a parent, a marketer and a stranger.

When I meet someone new I feel self-conscious and have gotten used to people assuming I am a teenager at first glance.  I find it especially important to convey a mature attitude to prove myself.  I have been pretty shy most of my life and the expectation that someone I met would see my acne before my face became normal to me.  Recently I have exercised strong self-confidence but I still feel better when I cover up the pimples with make-up.  Nevertheless, I find myself in the mirror angry and sad that my face is broken out again.  I expected to grow out of it.  But now I assume it will plague me until I am old and grey.

I always feel like the other parents are judging me and I am resentful that I get critical looks from school staff members.  My acne is a stage I never grew out of but I am accepting it as an unchangeable attribute like my height.  I have started bringing up acne in conversations as a way of addressing the elephant in the room.  When I look at beautiful faces I wish I could show the beautiful face under my blackheads and pimples.  As my son has gotten older he has asked why I have acne and I found comfort in explaining that it’s just who I am.  Inside I am hoping and wishing that I haven’t passed on the plague to him.  

In my everyday work I am usually a voice but my profession has driven me to project more of what I want people to think that I am and less of what I feel deep down inside – a conquered acne victim.  As I have overcome the judgment inside myself I have learned that what I think matters more than anyone else’s opinion.  In that acceptance I have continued my quest to find a solution.
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Copyright Ark Stories 2011

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Linda Rieschel
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 16:23:20

    Hi Carrin – I totally identify. I developed acne / rosacea As soon as I graduated from high school, and have been battling it ever since (I’m 62 now). This is what I’ve found to calm down my skin: Aveeno Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser (soap free, Hypoallergenic, non comedogenic) ; Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer (oil free, non comedogenic), L’Oreal Hydra Fresh Toner (Alcohol free – non-drying) which I mix with Lavender Pure Essential Oil (7 parts toner – 1 part Essential Oil), 100% Emu Oil, and as a bit of coverup; Aveeno Positively Radiant tinted moisturizer (SPF 30) . At night after I have washed my face (carefully with cool water) I pour a little bit of the toner/Lavender mix on to a damp face cloth and pat it on my face, then follow up with just a tiny bit of the Emu oil, which acts as an anti-bacterial and a bit of moisturizer. Daytime, same thing but skip the Emu oil and use the Aveeno regular moisturizer and/or the tinted moisturizer (oil free, Hypoallergenic, non comedogenic). I also bring kleenex with me during the day and press lightly onto my skin to ‘soak up’ the additional oils that always seem to be present.

    I don’t work for Aveeno, so this is an honest assessment with no agenda. Would love to know if it works for you. It took me years to come up with this combination (especially since I’ve had to substitute products as they were discontinued). I was recently having a gentle rosacea facial, and the facialist said, “You actually have very nice skin.” First time anyone has ever said that about my naked, un-made up face. So, my dear, these products may be worth a try. Good luck!


  2. MacArthur
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 02:09:36

    You might think I am a crank, or at best, a nutcase – but if you’ll allow me, I recommend a treatment that I found repulsive to contemplate at first, but which has proven mind-bogglingly effective. In short, apply your own urine to your acne with cotton swabs or pads. Yes, it’s serious, and well substantiated (and no, there is no odour – the skin soaks it up quickly). I was reluctant at first, but it makes a difference, especially combined with other treatments. There’s a lot on the Internet about it … Good luck!


  3. kimberleyajohnson
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 02:18:08

    I had a friend who tried urine with no luck. I know it sounds gross and is but if it worked…even for some it is worth a try. Being that I am not a Doctor or expert, I would highly advise a lot of research.


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