Your Zits Aren't Special

Illustration for article titled Your Zits Aren't Special

Are you an adult woman with an embarrassing teenager-style acne problem? You're not alone. In fact, adult acne is becoming more and more common among post-teens. But luckily, you're grown up and therefore RICH and so you can afford the wide array of expensive acne treatments available to the modern woman-about-town. So turn that frown upside down, Mme. Pizzaface, Esquire!


For some women, acne is more than an occasional embarrassing whitehead that magically sprouts from your chin after you fall asleep in your makeup; it's a serious problem. And treating it is a challenge. Teenager skin is young and vibrant and indestructible, so you can douse it with pretty much anything without running the risk of doing any long term damage. But combatting blemishes on aging skin is tricky, because almost everything about getting old sucks.

Traditional means of treating severe acne among teenagers can cause real problems in women in their 30's and 40's — the drug Accutane, pretty much the New York Yankees of zit combat, can cause severe dryness and birth defects. So, while your thirtysomething face may be successfully zit-free, the drug could feasibly turn your countenance into a horror mask of dead skin cells or change your fetus into a lobster with rage issues. Not ideal.

Topical applications don't work as well on women approaching middle age, either, because aging skin can't handle the sort of chemical spray that supple teenage skin can endure. Older skin gets irritated, turns red, or dries up faster than a vagina at a Limp Bizkit concert. So, what's an acne-ridden peri menopausal woman to do?

Companies have noticed the plight of the bumpy faced non-youth, and they've developed some products to help treat both users' cock blocking skin and the incurable disease of oldness, like SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense. Thank you, companies with names that are brand new, meaningless compound words!

Women with severe cases resort to more extreme measures, like shots and laser treatments. One 40-year-old woman mentioned by the Times has to receive cortisol injections in her face to combat serious cystic acne. Another 42-year-old New Jersey woman receives laser treatments on a monthly basis.

And still others have tried to eat their way out. A 38-year-old woman cut sugar and wheat out of her diet completely in order to combat her breakouts. Harvard researchers found that drinking too much milk can irritate whatever microscopic demons make pimples happen. And other research has found that drinking more water and eating less crap can improve prospects.


Doctors aren't sure why women are suddenly coming down with a bad case of Bad Prom Photo decades after they left their teenage years behind them. Thank goodness for companies that will make things that we can buy to fix everything.


Image via Lisa A/Shutterstock


Well, fuck my life. Excuse me, I have to go get drunk now, knowing that the acne I've had since I was 7 (no, that's not a typo) will probably last until I'm 47 or possibly 57 and I will never know the joy of clear skin, and I will continue to look jealously at pretty girls and think "What did she do to deserve good skin that I didn't? I'm a good person, right? Why do I have acne and she doesn't?" Which isn't very nice of me, but a lifetime of condescending head-pats along the lines of "No one really notices anyway" (um, yes they do!), "It'll go away when you get older!" (um, no it won't), and "Have you tried [Proactiv/birth control/washing your face]?" (PUNCH. STAB. KICK.) have made me very bitter. :(