Posts Tagged ‘acne’
I did something kind of dumb last week.
Toward the end of the month I will be celebrating my birthday (and I use the term “celebrate” extremely loosely). Anyone that knows me understands that I hate birthdays almost as much as I hate yard work and cooking dinner. Each year my husband asks me, “Soo…what would you like for your birthday this year?” Why he even asks that, I don’t know because each year my tearful response is, “Why don’t you just dig a hole and throw me in? I’m just one year closer to croaking.”
To date, he’s never wandered into the back yard on my birthday with a shovel. Probably because he knows if he did that, he would no longer have dinner on the table or dresser drawer brimming with clean underwear. Instead he’ll usually take me out for lunch or to a mall. A shopping trip for a new birthday outfit or to the makeup counter can usually turn my mental clock back a least a decade or two.
So let me use “turning back the clock” as a segue to tell you about my dumb thing.
My son is at the age were particular brands and specific types of clothing must be worn or he claims he will “look stupid.” His hair absolutely has to be combed into a calculated swoop so despite subzero temps, I don’t even suggest he wear an embarrassing hat to the bus stop anymore. If losing an ear to frostbite means preserving the style of his luscious locks, it’s worth it. He refuses to wear all but a certain cut of jeans and lately is becoming very familiar with my, “How are you going to run if there’s a fire? PULL YOUR PANTS UP!!!” So when he found a pimple this past summer, it turned his world upside down.
“Mom…this is so embarrassing,” he said to me pointing to his cheek.
“Huh? Whaa..?” I asked, stepping closer to him so I could figure out what he was talking about. I looked…and looked again. Squinted my eyes. Then spotted it. I pretty much needed a microscope to see the offensive pin-sized blemish that was vexing him.
“I can barely see anything, Noah,” I said.
“Look!! You can’t see that? It looks horrible!” he responded.
This persisted almost daily until I finally broke down and agreed to bring him to a dermatologist. Once there, the doctor didn’t seem overly concerned and ended up prescribing an expensive face wash and a tube of Retin A. Yes, I’ll say it again. Retin A.
For those of you who don’t know what Retin A is, it’s a topical vitamin A treatment that is used for not only acne and other skin conditions, it’s also used to treat wrinkles. And it’s spendy, too. Over a hundred dollars for a tube of the stuff (thank goodness for a coupon and our insurance coverage).
Noah jumped right into his new regime and each time he headed to the bathroom for his skin routine, I’d remind him, “That tube of Retin A is like gold. Don’t waste it!”
Okay, so last week when I was getting ready for bed. I washed my face and grimaced at lines on my face – especially the anger lines between my eyes and graph of thoughts on my forehead. But hmmm…I was sure my son would never miss a little tiny dab of that Retin A. So I quietly tiptoed past my snoring husband and into my son’s bathroom where I found the tube right where it was supposed to be: on the counter next to the sink with the cap off.
Ever so carefully, I squeezed a tiny amount onto my finger and spread it around on the pesky lines and graphs of my face. And heck…if a little bit worked, a lot would be even better, right? So, I squeezed…ever so slowly…a little bit…more out… and applied that liberally over the first layer.
Then I went to bed, excited to wake up then next morning as a fresh new 25 year old.
I awoke the next day, hustled Noah off to school, and then bolted to the bathroom mirror to see how fabulous I looked. Taking a close look at my reflection, I immediately noticed red and white raised tie-dye blotches covering my forehead where I had meticulously applied the Retin A. Feeling a bit panicked, I washed my face and looked again. Nice…washing only it made it worse and it was beginning to itch. Badly. And it was even burning a little.
Now what do I do? Should I see a doctor and confess that I robbed some prescription face cream from my son? Then thoughts of leprosy and contagious skin diseases started racing through my head. Maybe it wasn’t even from the Retin A! Should I go to a dermatologist? The Centers for Disease Control? The burn unit?
The worst part of it all was that I had errands to run that day and needed to meet a friend, and this meant I would be seen in public. My feeble attempt to cover the red and white mountains on my head with makeup were futile. Foundation, cover stick, powder — nothing touched it. I was starting to look like a really bad red and white candy cane.
I decided to forego the doctor and in a last ditch effort — or at least make the itchy situation tolerable — I slopped a thick layer of Vaseline across my forehead, got dressed, and headed out the door sporting a very large pair of sunglasses with my bangs combed over my forehead in a swoop much like my son’s. But I still looked like a bad candy cane – only shinier.
It took some time and lots of Vaseline (and hiding), but after about 3 scratchy days, I was back to normal again. I think on my birthday this year we’ll be heading to a nice, safe Clinique counter.
Have you ever tried a so-called “beauty treatment’ only ot have it backfire? Please share! We’ll only laugh at you a little bit.