There, I said it.
At 15, I had a face littered with pimples and blackheads. I was 1000 per cent sure I was the only person this was happening to at school. Everyone else appeared to have beautiful, clear skin. And yes, the cool kids let me know it.
Thirty years later, the memories still haunt me.
When my 16-year-old son started to get acne earlier this year, I didn’t want him to have the same awful experience I did. I didn’t want acne to be one of the enduring memories of his teens. But he wasn’t me. Maybe it wouldn’t affect him.
He said it didn’t bother him, so I didn’t worry about it. Until I noticed signs that he wasn’t happy with how he looked.
My tinted sunscreen kept disappearing from my bathroom. I suspect my son was using it to ‘cover up’.
He was no longer taking countless Snapchat pics daily or posting selfies on Insta.
He was saying no to hanging out with friends in person, preferring to catch up with them on Xbox.
What made me act? When he said no to a party with friends at a girl’s house.
As I sat watching Netflix with him later that night, I asked if the acne bothered him more than he was letting on. I asked if it was getting him down and changing how he felt about himself.
He finally admitted he wanted to hide until it all went away.