Because when your skin is crawling with a reaction, ‘helpful’ comments are the last thing you need...

It’s not that you don’t care. I know you do (unless you’re a stranger on the tube eyeing me suspiciously, in which case stop staring). It’s that you don’t get it. No one gets it unless they have sensitive , troubled, problematic, pain in the arse skin that doesn’t behave. And that’s OK - just don’t say these well-meaning but equally irritating things to anyone who is struggling with their skin…

1. [Recoiling in horror] "Oh, that looks… sore”

YOU CAN’T CATCH IT. Yes a rash can look horrendous (in fact, even the word ‘rash’ is horrendous - I prefer the much more medical-sounding term ‘reaction’ at all times) but believe me it feels worse, and you making me self conscious about it doesn’t really help matters *itches*.

2. "You seem tired"

Zzzzzzsorry what? Sleepy? Me? That’s because I’m taking five antihistamines a day just to keep myself from tearing my skin off. Sorry. Maybe make yourself useful and get me a coffee?

3. "Let’s go to a spa"

Sure, I’d love to put my swimsuit on and show off my patchy skin and have a massage all the while wondering if these essential oils are going to burn my skin off. Sign me up and charge me £100 for the pleasure.

4. "Have you put anything on it?"

Me? No, I thought I’d just let this reaction take hold of my entire body and see how the rash develops. OH THE THINGS I’VE TRIED. I’ve thrown pills, calamine , steroids, cold compresses, everything at this red, angry bastard and no, it hasn’t gone down yet. Time is a healer, or so they say. See you in six months.

5. "Go to the doctor, they’ll fix it!"

Oh, rilly? Not any of the doctors I’ve ever seen...

6. "Yes, I always find my skin is worse when I eat badly too"

Sorry, did you just food-shame me? These ‘spots' aren’t from that Crunchie I just devoured, they’re from hormones, unsuitable beauty products and unfortunate genes. And perhaps  stress  *glares*.

7. "Try this product, it’s great for sensitive skin"

Is it though? Is it actually? Let me just get my magnifying glass and read the…. oh, no, wait… contains a ‘light perfume' you say. And SLS . And a whole heap of potent essential oils. Thank you but please take it far, far away and trust me to know what I’m doing. I may not have any kind of beauty qualification but I’ve been reading ingredients lists and dermatology sites for as long as you’ve been reading Harry Potter.

8. [Aiming at me, finger on the button] “Test this perfume out!"


9. “But it’s hypoallergenic"

Don’t. Even.

10. “Let’s go somewhere really hot for our holiday this year"

*weeps and Googles ‘ prickly heat remedies ’*

What are your bugbears when you've had a reaction or have troubled skin? Let me know in the comments!

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