Oh, Woe is You

upsets only make matters worseEveryone’s got ’em . . . but maybe these words from Lois Pemberton’s classic The Stork Didn’t Bring You will help in your personal search for clear skin.

1965: Oh, Woe is You

Saddest of all the adolescent crosses to bear, and one that often leaves big mental as well as physical scars is ACNE. Very few boys or girls escape it, though some have milder and shorter sieges than others. woe is you!It does seem unfair, and why it’s necessary no one knows ~ though maybe it’s just one of nature’s strange character-molding devices. Best you can do is keep your chin up and know that acne does depart eventually for good.

You may, of course, feel self-conscious over it and plan staying home when you want terribly to go some place special. Well don’t. Don’t let it destroy your confidence and composure either.

If you’re a complete mess with a bumper crop from the start, have mother take you to a dermatologist, follow his advice, and apply his medications to the letter. Be sure to use only your own prescriptions and don’t fool around experimenting with stuff that worked for somebody else. Everyone is an individual case, reacting differently to different treatment. What worked swell for Joe or Jane may just prove poison for you.

If, however, you’re just one of the “regulars” with a normally healthy spattering, while you’re putting up with the unsightly spots and curbing the desire to bury your head in the sand till they subside, you can help yourself a lot. First of all, avoid being emotional about its appearance. Upsets only make matters worse, stirring up the circulation and increasing rather than decreasing the number of bumps. So keep calm, stay away from mirrors, and steer clear of company that insists on reminding you of it. . . .

A very good thing to bear in mind is: Those bumps don’t show to others nearly as much as you imagine they do. Because you are extra conscious and sensitive of them, you may feel they look big as all outdoors. They aren’t pretty; none of us likes to even see them, much less have them. Medical science is doing lots to straighten them out in the way of new treatments and diet; and perhaps, someday, acne won’t even be a part of growing up. But until then, there isn’t much more you can do.

Source: Pemberton, Lois. The Stork Didn’t Bring You: Sex Education for Teen-Agers. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1965.
~ pp. 115 (drawing), 117-18, 120-21 ~