The Scarlet Leather: Skin Angels

Several days after beginning medication.
A huge improvement

–not the toilet 
–nor the neighborhood
–but the face.  

Insulin leads to flushing which leads to red swollen pustules and open sores, with the flowery name: Rosacea.  At this point I strongly believe the amount of insulin is directly proportional to the intensity of the redness–I’ve got more shades of red going on than a Pantone color chart.

Three weeks ago, I’d had it–half of my face was like old red leather that had been left out in the elements too long.   The pustules weren’t just on my face, but also in my ears and on my eyelids and scalp.  Some nights, in spite of my 1600 thread count sheets, it hurt to lay the inflammed cheek on my pillow.  I finally acquiesced and got medication to reduce the flushing…but alas, there’s no special insulin reducing medication, so periodic flushing still ensues.  

Over time, the red orb on my face slowly reduced in size, all the while my skin was molting at an incredible pace and I could peel off large chunks of skin two, sometimes three times a day.  And I kinda liked it.  I like summer with a good sunburn and the resulting peeling of the skin.  It’s a process; it’s a challenge; it’s cathartic; it’s metamorphic.  Decades ago I read a short story, “Skin Angels,” with the main character sitting atop a roof, peeling off her sunburned skin and flicking the ‘skin angels’ into the wind.  I connected.  The thought of something dead being stripped away and given a new name appealed to me.  But it’s the middle of the winter and there are no rooftops I will adorn to picturesquely release my skin angels. 


The scarlet patch has resolved, but several times a day the vermillion bumps burst forth, sometimes resolving in minutes, sometimes not for days.  For now, I look like a prepubescent person preparing for a Proactiv piece, instead of a socialite recovering from a chemical peel.

{intentional alliteration}

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