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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Framingham chapter.

“Why are your cheeks so red?” “Are you okay?” “You should see someone about your skin.” 

I went through school being teased for my red cheeks. Kids thought I just never exercised and that my skin got red from running too much. Soccer coaches would pull me off the field to much sure I wasn’t about to pass out. I never understood why they were treating me like I couldn’t be active.

Senior year. Rosy cheeks. Never having to buy blush. Sounds great right? Not so much. After being diagnosed with rosacea in 2017, I’ve dealt with a whirlwind of different problems. This began when I noticed really dry skin on my cheeks during the summer before my senior year of high school. I ignored it. I probably just needed to moisturize.

Within a few weeks, big pieces of my dry skin were flaking off. I continued to ignore it. That was until I looked through my senior photos that had been taken a few days prior. They were completed ruined by the weird texture on my face. At that point, I went to a dermatologist and heard a word I thought was only used around older folks. “Rosacea.” Luckily for me, all of the pills and lotions I had been prescribed worked pretty quickly. Within six months, the skin divots in my cheeks had begun to smoothen and the beet-like redness had gotten lighter. I thought this was the end of my troubles…

A year later, the summer before college began, I had beautiful skin again. But everything comes with a price. A little lump had formed under my upper left eyelid. I ignored it for a few weeks because I thought it was a sty from my makeup. Little did I know this lump would turn my life upside down. My new diagnosis was a chalazion. For those who don’t know, this is the evil cousin of the sty. Chalazions stay for much longer than a sty (sties are usually around for a week or two), can get quite large, and people with rosaceaare more prone to getting them. After many ophthalmologist office visits, surgery on my eyelid, and almost six months later, this evil chalazion remains on my eyelid. Thankfully it has gotten better over time (at one point it looked like a big pimple on my eyelid). However, this still means I can no longer wear the fierce winged eyeliner I used to and there have been numerous times where my confidence has dwindled. 

But this post isn’t just about me. It’s about all of the young girls out there who have suffered through rosacea, skin conditions, or any other health issues that have disrupted their lives. My childhood was disrupted by questions about my skin, my first semester of college was tainted by a pea-sized lump under my eyelid, and my senior photos were damaged by textured cheeks. I thought I was alone in these struggles for a long time due to the assumption that rosacea was a problem for 40-60-year olds. I don’t want that to be the case for anyone else. Please see a doctor when problems arise, even if it ends up being nothing. And find others who are dealing with the same issues. You’ll be thankful you did. 

Samantha Collette

Framingham '22

Fashion Design Major. Lover of the environment, ethical textiles, and pumpkin picking.
President and Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Framingham, Senior at Framingham State University, Finance Major. Avid animal lover, aspiring fashionista, and amateur traveler.