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Menopausal Acne – That’s Just Wrong

What the heck is up with middle age acne?  I don’t eat mountains of chocolate or greasy food to stimulate pimple production (even if that is a myth), so why do I get the connect-a-dot cluster of red bumps on my face every couple of months?  Preparation for a phantom period? There is no more period, so there should be no more blemishes.  Yet there they are, popping up overnight like groundhogs peeking up out of their holes to predict another six weeks of winter. I never had much acne as a teenager, so maybe this is payback time.  Although I do remember attending some sort of college sorority dance looking like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer.  No amount of foundation or powder could cover up that Bozo The Clown nose.

acne at menopause, zits, skin care for middle-aged women, menopausal symptoms, menopause, midlife, midlife women

Pimples are often stressed-induced, but in my case, they crop up when I’m at my happiest, or, say, ten minutes before I’m about to meet with someone I haven’t seen in ten years, or I’m about to pose for the yearly family holiday photo. I can just hear some of my relatives now:

“Geez, what the heck is that thing on her forehead? Looks like a third eye!”

“The tip of her nose sure is red—must be nipping at the liquor again!”

Why haven’t they invented menopausal pimple prevention cream?  Probably because there would be too many side effects, such as:

  •      Permanent rosacea (Looking like an adult with chicken pox)
  •      Cankles
  •      Increased cellulite
  •      A third spare tire around the middle (lookin’ like the Michelin Man)
  •      Inflamed gobbler
  •      Bat wing fat
  •      Elephant earlobes
  •      Unibrow
  •      A sixth toe on the left foot

Why are we cursed with blemishes when we’ve already suffered through our teenage angst years?  The difference is that these are faux zits.  You’re not getting your period but you’re going to go through all the symptoms of one, like bloating and crying over the Publix holiday commercials—or anything else sentimental.  It makes me want to adopt a puppy or feed a child in Guyana.

I’ve tried dermabrasion and chemical peels that leave my face looking like a freshly steamed lobster.  I’ve heard that some women go so far as to rub cat litter and cream on their faces for a smooth complexion. I cleanse and moisturize, cleanse and moisturize and most days my skin looks pretty darn good.  But then there are those mornings I wake up with one pimple that somehow morphs into a riotous gang of color by the end of the evening.  At this rate I’m afraid I’ll still be ordering Proactive from my granny chair at the old folk’s home…along with a case load of Metamucil.  Where’s the kitty litter facial scrub when I need it? Meow!

Read more from Marcia Kester Doyle on her blog, Menopausal Mother

Marcia Kester Doyle

Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humor book, Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane, and the voice behind the midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, The Huffington Post, Bonbon Break, Purple Clover, and Scary Mommy, among others. Marcia lives in sunny south Florida with her husband, four children, one feisty granddaughter and three chunky pugs.

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Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Such a fun post Marcia! I am post-menopausal but still get the pleasure of the occasional zit. Most of the time however it is overshadowed by the hairs growing out of my chin. The stiff ones are easy. It's the airy fluffy ones that are hard to catch!

marcia @Menopausal Mother

Thursday 27th of March 2014

Oh great… I have chin hairs to look forward to?? Nooooooo!


Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Oh, the zits! I started when I was 14 and it just never seems to stop. I puts the daughter that seems to have inherited my skin.

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

I thought I outgrew it when I was in my early twenties….apparently not…..


Wednesday 26th of March 2014

At least the acne keeps us looking young. :-)

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

I like the way you think, Cary!


Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Oh, please no...

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

It's only bad when they appear in clusters…….

Gary Sidley

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

I never realized that acne was a problem for you menopausal ladies.

I too can remember the teenage years, getting up in the morning with an inflamed boil on my nose, and my older brother asking, 'who is your friend; aren't you going to introduce us!'

A funny tale, well-told (as always).

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Wednesday 26th of March 2014

Hahahaha!! That sounds just like something a brother would say to his sibling!

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