DEAR HARRIETTE: I am so embarrassed. As a grown woman, I have started to get acne -- again. I am in menopause, which I have been celebrating, but the last thing I imagined would happen is that I would revert back to my teen years. I shudder at the thought that I will have to go through the trauma I experienced as a teen now that I am over 50. Just remembering those sensitive days makes my stomach hurt. I am single and dating. I don't want to become self-conscious about my face now. OMG! -- Bumpy, Chicago
DEAR BUMPY: I hate to tell you this, but one of the side effects of menopause can be adult-onset acne. Horrible, I know! The good news is you do not have to suffer in pain and shame.
By all means, go to a dermatologist right away. Get a professional evaluation. Your doctor will likely prescribe a way to cleanse your skin along with medication that can help curb your acne.
As with everything in life, each new experience brings ups and downs. Menopause has many surprises for women. Welcome the experience, and get support as you need it. To learn more, read everydayhealth.com/menopause/menopause-and-acne.aspx.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a 41-year-old single woman, and I would like to be married by age 43. Some of my friends think I am crazy because I made a hard-line decision. Currently, the prospects are bleak, but I have the faith that I will find my prince. With every cloud there is a silver lining. I have a male friend who is 41 years and single, and I have known him since we were 17 years old. We dated when were very young. We have always kept in touch during our ups and downs, and we remain friends to this day.
I recently called my male friend to check his temperature about relationships and marriage. To my surprise, he was excited about the possibility of marriage. He even included the idea of having children, and I was pleased with our conversation. I made an informal proposition to him, saying if we are still single by the age of 43, we should become a couple. This is a risky move on my part: You do not know whom we may meet in the next two years. But I like him, and I hope it can happen. Should I wait for my prince, or should I keep my head in the clouds? -- Two Years and Counting, Chicago
DEAR TWO YEARS AND COUNTING: I like the idea of a deadline in the sense that it gets you to focus on attaining something that you want so much -- whether it manifests or not. I also like the idea of your childhood friend as a partner -- if the two of you actually like each other in that way.
What I do not like is the two of you thinking about this as a backup plan. Instead, why not start dating and see if you are compatible? Honor your friendship by figuring out if or how it will evolve.