Several weeks ago I got up, looked in the mirror, and saw a constellation on my face.
There it was, the Big Dipper of zits: one on my nose, two on my chin and two on my cheek. Connect the dots and you got a saucepan.

“Augh!” I groaned to my husband. “Look at my face. I have pimples in the shape of the Big Dipper.”

“No, Honey, it’s more like Orion’s Belt. See how it goes across here,” he said, tracing the spots across my face. I stood dumbfounded. Then the kids walked in.

“What’s up?” asked my son.

“Take a look at Mom,” said my husband. “Do you think the pimples on her face look more like the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt?”

“It looks kind of like a peace sign to me,” said my daughter.

“I see an elephant,” said my son. “See, there’s the trunk.”

“Aaaaahhhh, I hate you all,” I shrieked. I was really annoyed. Not so much at my family, but at the fact that here I was at 46, still getting pimples. That at 46, I was still buying teenage acne cream. And that at 46, the stupid teenage acne cream wasn’t working.

My 16 year-old son snickered. “Laugh it up puberty boy,” I warned him. “You’re next on the pimple parade!”

Unfortunately, my pimple crisis was not an isolated incident. Lately, I’d had more breakouts than a minimum-security prison. As I spackled cover-up across my cheeks, I thought I should go get some professional help before the entire galaxy could be mapped across my face.

But first I conferred with some friends. They all empathized. It seemed a bunch of us were trapped in the pimple/wrinkle zone. We felt like we were leading some Freaky Friday double lives: anti-aging moisturizer by day… benzoyl peroxide by night. I thought I should simultaneously get a subscription to More magazine and Tiger Beat.

Finally, I scrubbed off my makeup, put on a big hat, and went to the dermatologist.

“Too much chocolate?” I asked as she examined my constellation.

“Too many hormones,” she responded. “You have hormonal acne. It’s common in teenagers… and peri-menopausal women.”

“Since I’m not in that first category, I assume you think I’m in the second,” I said glumly. I had always been pre-, during, or post-something in my cycle. Now I was peri. Who knew?

She wrote me a prescription for some magic pills for the pimples, some more magic cream for the wrinkles, and told me to check back in a month.

For a few weeks, it was acne as usual. But then, slowly my complexion started to improve. By week four, my face was blemish free. I was overjoyed.

Then last week I woke up, and a new constellation had appeared across my face, just in time for the huge BlogHer conference I was gearing up to attend. I made an emergency appointment for the dermatologist and stormed into her office.

“Look,” I said pointing to my inflamed cheeks. “I thought the pills and cream would get rid of my pimples? What is this?”

She peered at my face.

“Poison Ivy.”

©2011, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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  • crazypants

    *slaps hand over mouth*

    Ugh… how frustrating!!!!

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      Well, at least it will be easy for people to find me at BlogHer. “Oh, Tracy Beckerman? Yeah, she’s the one with the big red spots all over her face!”

  • Diane

    Breakouts aren’t fun at any age. I hope you can find something that works for you.

  • lollieweeks

    Growing up is such fun! There’s always some new joy lurking around the corner! Don’t sneeze or laugh too hard, there are grey hairs on our heads & goat hairs popping out our chins, and reading glass in every room & every purse & tote bag. And now there’s acne to look forward to too! Yikes, I’m going back to bed!

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      It all started with the hemorrhoids and varicose veins after childbirth. When in doubt, blame the kids!

  • Tracey Medrano Becker

    EXcellent! I think there should be a biological law against acne and gray hair/wrinkles co-existing, anyway.

    • lostinsuburbiablog

      I have about a dozen other things I would add to that law, believe me!

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