New Test Leper

I’ve been having this issue with my skin lately, and I have decided to share this information with the world. Here’s the deal: a couple of weeks before the wedding, I started getting zits on my forehead. Not surprising, I figured it was stress-related, and my body somehow knew that I was about to be the subject of a hundred or so photographs, so it decided to screw up my face. Fine, whatever. Good thing we sprang for the make-up artist on our wedding day. A few weeks after the wedding, I started getting bumps all over my chest. They didn’t appear to be pimples exactly, they were just little red bumps. But they didn’t itch. After I had those for a couple of weeks, the bumps on my chest started to spread up the sides of my neck and onto my jawline. Ok, fine, time to call the dermatologist. (I should mention that I already have a dermatologist because I had a particularly horrible breakout a couple of years ago, and this is the same doctor who helped me with that.) Meanwhile, Dave and I have taken to referring to it as The Plague (said in overly dramatic voice), which is basically what it feels/looks like.

I saw the dermatologist yesterday. She said that all the red bumps are indeed a form of acne, and by the way God, do I need to remind you that I am almost 30 freakin’ years old and this phase of my life is supposed to be over? Ok, thanks. So she put me on an antibiotic that’s supposed to help acne, although this is one of the drugs that I tried two years ago that did absolutely nothing for me, so I’m not terribly optimistic. If it doesn’t work, it may mean that I have to take the drug that fixed my acne two years ago, which is a rather controversial medication called Accutane. Now, while it will absolutely 100% kick my acne’s ass, here’s what I don’t like about Accutane:

1) It dries out all of my skin, not just what’s on my face, so I end up having to basically rub myself down with cocoa butter every day.
2) It makes my lips so dry that they peel, crack and bleed on a daily basis. (And I’m a lip balm addict, so that’s saying a lot.)
3) It causes such severe birth defects that the legal restrictions on this drug are insane. Each pill comes pre-wrapped in a package with a little icon of a pregnant woman with a red Ghostbusters “NO!” slash across her. I have to sign an affidavit stating that I will use 2 forms of birth control while I’m on it. I have to go for monthly pregnancy tests. (A nurse once told me that they even make post-menopausal women go for the pregnancy tests too, just to cover their asses.) I’m supposed to have monthly “pregnancy avoidance counseling” (ha!) with my doctor. Because if I get pregnant, God will murder ten kittens. No seriously, if I were to get pregnant, I would most likely have to get an abortion, and that would not be fun. Honestly, as tedious as all the hoops are that I have to jump through, mostly it just makes me paranoid. So obviously, I’m trying to avoid taking this particular drug.

Meanwhile, I have this antibiotic, and my dermatologist recommended that I also consider using one of those zit creams with benzoyl peroxide in them. I know I’ve used those types of things back in high school, and I knew I had a bad reaction to them, but the main thing I remembered was waking up with my eyes swollen shut, which is pretty horrible. So I thought, well maybe I’ll try it just on the bumps on my neck and chest – that’s far enough away from my eyes that it shouldn’t make them puff up. So when I was at the drug store, I grabbed some stuff with benzoyl peroxide in it, and I put it on before I went to bed last night.

This morning, my eyes were neither swollen nor puffy, but my neck and chest… oh my god. The redness. The itching. The color that’s been bleached out of the pillowcase (WTF?!). But mostly, it’s the Red that bothers me. Y’all, I am literally a red neck. Holy hell, what do I do with this? Make-up doesn’t cover it. I just put tons of blush on my face, so it looks like a sunburn. Which, you know, combined with the pre-existing pimples, is really super attractive.

Tonight I’m giving myself a soothing, pore-clarifying masque made from avocado and all kinds of other organic stuff. Because it was on sale at the drug store. And because I am no longer using that benzoyl peroxide crap that wants to eat my damn face off. I don’t know if there is any such things as clear-skin vibes, but if there are, please send them my way. This is getting ridiculous. Thanks.

P.S. I can’t wait to see what kind of Google hits I get from this post. Itchy red chest bumps, woo-hoo!
P.S.S. If anyone gets the song reference in the title, I will be duly impressed.

5 thoughts on “New Test Leper

  1. I totally get the song reference — the REM album that song is on was the last one I actually liked…Also, those little pieces of Accutane foil are like a staple of my college career — one of my best (male) friends in school (who is also a total slob) had to take that stuff, and his room was littered with the teeny tiny "don't be pregnant!" pictures. I think he actually picked them up and made a little collage with them once. :)But I hope you don't have to take it nonetheless — it would be less funny and a little more scary for a woman…

  2. One of my recent favorite R.E.M. songs…'Judge not lest ye be judged.'what a beautiful refrain.The studio audience disagrees.Have his lambs all gone astray?

  3. A co-worker at my last job got the red bump plague and ordered that Proactiv stuff. She swears by it now. Might be worth a shot.

  4. I've heard good things about Proactiv, but its main ingredient is the benzoyl peroxide that caused me the Horrible Itching Redness last week. So… no. But the antibiotic appears to be working so far, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that for now.

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