My face will not stop breaking out. Seriously, it’s out of control.

You may hate me for saying this, but for most of my life I’ve been lucky to have excellent skin. I’ve never really had bad breakouts. On the rare occasions when I did have a breakout, it would usually consist of a single pimple right on the end of my nose. That’s God saying “ha,” right there. I’ve been through phases where I wore tons of makeup, and I’ve been through phases where I wore none at all. Sometimes I was diligent about washing my face every day, and sometimes I just wasn’t. I never went to a dermatologist. I never had to use anything more serious than a basic everyday facial cleanser.

Over the last several years, through makeup and allergic reactions and weird medications and climate changes and stress and grief and love and all kinds of things, I’ve never had a phase of breakouts like I’ve had for the last few weeks.

Currently, in addition to the blotchiness, itchy red spots, dry flaky spots, and other general plague theme props, I have a herd of pimples near the corner of my mouth. They’re the kind of pimples that made both my mother and my grandmother ask me “what was all over my face,” which instantly transformed me into a thirteen-year-old all, “GOD, they’re PIMPLES, do you have to TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT THEM?”

I’ve even gotten fever blisters. What the hell? I never get fever blisters. My face is quite seriously pissed off about something.

I’d been alternating Cetaphil’s normal-to-oily and Aveeno Calming something-or-other and that just isn’t working. The Aveeno, which I liked for about a day, says it contains something called “feverfew” for calming properties. I’ve heard, though, that feverfew is related to ragweed, to which I am hellaciously allergic, so this may explain the blotchiness. I don’t know.

I’m wearing almost no makeup in an attempt to help my face clear up faster, but I look like hell and I’m too damn old to be going to work looking like I just hit puberty. So what now? Do I go to a dermatologist? Do I wait it out? What do dermatologists do, anyway? This sucks.

12 Replies to “Breakout”

  1. I’m having the same problem. I had really bad skin in junior high and it cleared up in high school, but I thought by the time you hit your 20s you should be done with all that. I thought about going to the doctor and asking if she can help, but I’d feel silly talking to my doctor about zits.

  2. You’ve probably tried the regular ol Noxema, but I love the stuff and have been using it since I was a teenager.

    I do have a dermatologist but never went their for my face. It’s not that weird of an experience though, and if your insurance covers it, I say go for it. What can it hurt?

  3. I’m having the same issues too — as a result I’ve been spending gobs of cash on that LUSH site, hoping the organic/herbal route will finally work. I’m beginning to think it could be stress? I won’t say “diet” because I refuse to stop eating junk food.

  4. I have heard good things about Coalface, from Lush, if you have skin of the oily persuasion.

    for the record, i think i just lost all claim to being a boy.

    good luck, dude.

    (there, i said dude, so it balances out, maybe)

  5. no, you keep your claim to being a boy because you left almost this exact same comment on this very same site like a month ago, and I told you Coalface was probably too harsh for my skin. :)

  6. Maybe you have the HIV… which is my response to any ailment you have, just because I like saying “the HIV” even when we were learning about the Tiv in anthropology it made me giggle.

    You should try proactiv… Vanessa Williams, Jessica Simpson, and P. Diddy all swear by it… and if Puffy likes it, it must be good eh?

    BTW I’ve decided I’m either moving back to Colorado, or to Canada when I graduate… in 10 years

  7. Now that I think about it, I probably left the same comment last time, too.

    Did you ever try the Vaseline baby oil gel, by the way? (Obviously not for the face).

    I swear, I think sometimes I repeat variations of the same post over at the HK. I can blame mine on age, perhaps? Being 30 and all. Or a better excuse would be motherhood.

  8. I use lush soap on my face, then a moisturizer that’s as natural as possible – preferably containing essential oils and no fragrance. have you tried “kiss my face?” btw, here’s a site where you can obsess about the ingredients of your various cosmetics and hypoethesise over what might be causing it – it rates main beauty products according to what’s toxic and what’s not Seriously, switching away from mainstream brands like Nivea/Noxzema/ even the Clinique tri-part system and sticking with stuff as PLAIN as possible is the only thing that helped my skin when I, like you, started experiencing uncharacteristic breakouts a couple of years ago.

  9. Where’d you get your fever blisters; I was thinkin’ of picking some up.

    also, I don’t get pimples. I’ve had, like, 3 in my life. I put Trader Joe’s body lotion on my face after I shower and shave. -that or l’occitane verbena body lotion; it smells so good. …though, I wouldn’t recommend anybody else try it.

    I can only offer “drink a lot of water and eat lots of fish” but that’s just going to make this comment more annoying.

  10. ACK! I have the sudden upcropping of mouth-area acne, too! And, like you, I’ve had good-to-excellent-to-enviable skin my whole life. Big old WTF to this business.

    Neosporin before bed works for me, though, sometimes. It’s a process, though. And don’t waste your money on Proactiv. It’s drying, and bleaches whatever you touch right after putting it on unless you remember to wash your hands rightaway! afterwards.

  11. Sometimes happens to me in the winter. I stop with the caffeine already, along with eliminating sugars, and oddly enough, OJ. Worked everytime. Now that I’m on South Beach, it only pops up mildly, then I cut out the caffeine and everything’s back to normal in 10 days or so.

    A non-petroloeum based moisturizer might help, but make sure you are not partially dehydrated, which is almost the norm this time of year.

  12. Try not to change things up too much. I think switching products too many times, might aggravate your skin even more.

    I have a ton of friends say they had terrible skin issues crop up in their mid- to late-twenties. So, some of it could be hormonal.


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