HELP: Do I say something?



The skin on my upper chest/lower throat is frequently pink.


green cardigan

(Not too bad here– I had a hard time actually finding a photo that showed what I mean!)



I flush when I’m warm. I flush when I’m embarrassed. My skin is tender and reacts to all manner of fabrics/metals. If I happen to rub or scratch that area, it will be an angry red for quite some time.


This is just how it is.


I don’t have any skin conditions or problems, mind you– just fair, sensitive, easy-to-flush skin.


It’s never bothered me.




There is a woman– a lovely woman, I might add– who works at our church.


And EVERY TIME she sees me, she admonishes me for getting sunburnt.


“Oh, I’m not burned,” I’ll smile.


She’ll raise a brow.


I’ll stammer to explain but, as you might suspect, that just makes me flush more.


Vicious cycle.


I’d never worried about this, my friends. I really don’t consider it a problem.


But, every time I leave one of these conversations, I’m embarrassed, self-conscious, and wondering if everyone thinks I’ve fried my skin or have something wrong with me.


But what do I do?


Try to get over myself and ignore her?     (I’ve tried– that’s hard for me.)


Say something? And, if so…. what?


I’ve pondered approaching her privately and telling her that this is just how I’m designed and that her words hurt and embarrass me. That I wish she’d stop calling attention to it because it makes me feel self- conscious.


But is that overreacting?


I just don’t know.


I feel like I’m whining over something incredibly insignificant here. I know people have MUCH bigger problems than this.


But it’s bothered me for three years now. That seems long enough.


So… what should I do?

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5 comments to HELP: Do I say something?

  • Celine Noyes

    I think if she continues to say something everytime or most times she sees you that it might be necessary to take her aside and mention that while you are greatruly that she is so concerned about your health and safety that the constant comments are not helpful but hurtful. Let her know that the punk coloring is natural and normal for your personal skin and that you’you’ve talked to your Dr about it and there is no reason for concern.

    I am guessing that she also likely does this with others as well and they might be more sensation to her comments.

    If she still continues maybe having someone else point out that those kinds of comments are rude to her might help. Though some people just can’t help themselves but to always comment on things like that.

    • Celine Noyes

      Well I should likely quit responding from my phone to save myself from all the horrible spelling mistakes due to auto correct.

      Greatruly= greatful
      Punk= pink
      You’you’ve= you’ve
      Sensation= sensative

  • Katherine

    I feel for you, I am the same way, Irish skin here that flushes easily and often! I bet this person points things out to others often too so I don’t know if pulling her aside would make much of a difference. sInce you live up north hopefully she will notice in the winter that it is not sunburn! I live in NC and need to be in Ireland! Haha!
    I do remember still several years ago in middle school (I am 43 now and still remember this so it made an impact since I cannot remember what I had for lunch today) a girl looked over at me in music class and just out of nowhere told me I had big ugly thumb nails. Now I know this is ridiculous and not the same as someone accusing you of burning your skin on purpose but I just remember how her comment hurt me. I hid my hands for years because of that one comment that I am sure that girl forgot about the same day.
    I think you have a beautiful complexion and owe nobody an explanation for what your fair skin feels like doing on a particular day, you know the truth and that is all that matters. i get you though, it is annoying and hurtful even if not intended to be it is hurtful.

  • Heather

    i personally would tell my hubs “that woman…$@&#%!” And move on. But this is an ongoing thing? You’ve explained. She’s at your place of worship which should be a safe zone. You need to tell her she is hurting your feelings, making self conscious and exacerbating your flushed conditioned. You can be nice, but firm. It must stop. It is offensive. Do you say “damn lady you got new wrinkles!” when you look at her? No! Socially unacceptable even if factual. So she should be socially acceptable to you.

  • Nicole

    There are several things going on here:
    1-You are/were a catechist and your son is an alter server, yet she sees you and associates you with sunburn…strange
    2-What other people think about your skin is none of your business, unless they are your doctor
    3-If these comments were aimed at one of your children, I am almost positive, mama bear, that you would have immediately put this lady “in check” with kindness
    4-You teach people how to treat you by setting personal boundaries. You will need to reteach this lovely woman by gracefully stopping this topic at its start and redirecting her to an appropriate topic. “Thank you for being so concerned about my health but you need not worry because this is the natural state of my skin and my doctor has assured me that it is healthy and normal. With that being said, let’s talk about something else.” Then you bring up a church related topic. Do not open up a can of worms by talking about your sunscreen use or your heritage.
    5-Pray. Ask God for the grace to respond to this lovely woman with firmness and love. After all, you are worth standing up for.
    Good luck!

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