Kimmie Jones
Updated Aug 02, 2016 @ 12:42 pm
Credit: New Line Cinema

When I was a teen, I had dreamy skin. I remember getting a complimentary Clinique makeover like any poor freshman mall rat and feeling satisfied when the “Happy”-scented salesgirl told me my skin was blessed with youthful resilience. Now I’m in my thirties, yet my skin is undergoing puberty. For years, I’ve struggled hard (and silently) with a face at war with itself due to the black sheep of the derma-hierarchy — cystic acne.

My dime-sized skin demons reside just below the surface, causing crazy amounts of pain, while seemingly being impervious to 99% of the over-the-counter treatments. (Is it not bad enough that they look like a horn attempting to break the skin’s surface? Do they have to inflict so much pain?) The severity ebbs and flows, sometimes being scarce, and other times making me feel like that scene in Alien, only occurring on my T-zone instead of in my abdominal cavity.

Credit: Kimmie Jones

Why am I sharing this semi-disgusting fault with the far reaches of the internet? Because I know I am not alone in this horrific scenario. There needs to be someone out there telling you that the disruptive power of these little boogers is something that happens to others as well and it’s all OKAY.

Here are a few things I bet every gal battling cystic acne has done at least once in a fit of desperation.

You’ve done a google image search for “cystic acne” on a day when you felt particularly lumpy.

You know how they say it could always be worse, well an internet query will generally prove this to be true. Not for the faint of heart, but this is definitely a way to shift your perspective for the better.

You’ve amassed a huge collection of skincare.

Credit: Giphy

What works for typical acne does not always work for this bad boy. For this reason I have an entire drawer of misfit acne solutions…and don’t get me started on concealers. I have become the David Blaine of making zits disappear. I could open an Ulta franchise out of my vanity.

You’ve secretly wished the dermatologist would give you access to injections so you could take matters into your own hands.

If you are a pimply type, you might have puzzled a dermatologist or two in your day…and you’ve likely gotten a particularly stubborn outbreak injected with cortisone. As if by magic, within 24 hours even the most stubborn zit goes bye-bye. The best shot ever! I may or may not have begged my nurse practitioner to give some to me so I could do this whole procedure in my bathroom mirror. They always decline for some reason.

You decide having bangs is mandatory.

Credit: Giphy / Comedy Central

Maybe you have a squat forehead and never thought that you were destined for a fringe, but you were backed into a corner by your facial quirks. I’ve been there — we all have! In addition to being fashion-forward, they really are the perfect camouflage.

Your glasses frames have gotten significantly thicker over the years.

Thank goodness for my poor eyesight and the fact that thicker frames are in style, because they conceal breakouts like a dream, making you look studious rather than unkempt. The whole vision improvement aspect is definitely a plus, too

You have a rack of chunky necklaces and scarves for those times when your neck has an outbreak.

Credit: Giphy / Warner Bros.

You can pretend that you are just a power accessorizer, but we all know that when those oily devils start creeping down your neck, piling on every neck-cessory as a means of distraction becomes crucial.

Whether your familiar with all of these scenarios or now have new ideas to help you deal, just remember you are not the sole member of the cystic acne club.