Sophie hadn’t always had spots. She had been relatively blemish free as a teenager. It wasn’t until her late twenties that things began to change. She put it down to a mixture of stress from her recently acquired accountancy job coupled with a healthy dose of eating “whatever the fuck” she wanted since her break up with Tom. Whatever the true cause, her sebaceous glands had switched into overdrive.

The pimples appeared first, scattered over forehead, but they were easily covered by concealer and eventually by a thick fringe. Within a few months, her nose had became a hot bed for white heads. Starting as sore, hard, red lumps they would quickly become more pointed and white, eventually being burst with a swift squeeze together of her thumbs. Her chin followed suit, with deeply entrenched black heads which lead to miniature crater-like marks being left in her skin, due to the thickness and depth of the spot roots.

But when giant boils began to appear on her cheeks, Sophie decided a more serious approach was necessary. She was turning thirty in the coming weeks and this spot fiasco had gone on long enough. She spent the day going from chemist to chemist, acquiring washes, scrubs and various implements necessary for the immanent removal.

She didn’t stop when her skin became red raw from the exfoliating gel, nor did she stop when it began to burn from the glycolic peel. She continued through the deep squeezing extractions, despite the blood trickles that ran from her forehead beginning to blur her vision. The squeezing soon became digging, her nails dragging the skin down from her cheeks to her chin. The blood was flowing more freely now, her face beginning to gather and catch in her finger nails. Starting from her hair line, she pulled the scalpel down towards her ear, around her left cheek to her chin and then back up to meet the initial incision on her forehead. Most of the skin peeled away quite easily eventually coming off in one large, face-sized piece.

Sophie grabbed a towel and wiped away the blood from her eyes. Raising her head from the sink, she looked into the mirror and smiled.