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'AITA for asking my daughter struggling with acne if she actually washes her face?'

'AITA for asking my daughter struggling with acne if she actually washes her face?'


All of us are untactful at times, the main thing is that we recognize when it's happened and do better in the future.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a dad asked if he was wrong for asking his daughter if she truly washes her face. He wrote:

"AITA for asking my daughter if she actually washes her face?"

I (M42) have a daughter (16) “Jo." Jo is one of my kids with my ex-wife, my ex has a job that has her traveling a lot so Jo stays with me the majority of the time. Within the last year maybe year 1/2 Jo has gotten bad acne. I have gotten her multiple types of face wash and moisturizer. But her acne hasn’t cleared up so I figured it was just part of her being part of a teenager.

And maybe that she wasn’t always washing her face and that’s why it hasn’t cleared up. Well, recently Jo has been asking to go to a dermatologist because normal face wash and moisturizer don’t work for her. I told her acne isn’t that bad and she probably just needs to wash her face more often.

Jo then told me she’s self-conscious about her acne and that she would appreciate going to the dermatologist and just seeing if they could do something for her. So I asked her if she actually washes her face every day twice a day or does she only does it when she feels like it. She started crying and ran up to her room.

Less than an hour later I got a call from my ex-wife calling me a huge AH for accusing Jo of not washing her face and that’s why she has acne and that it could be hormones keeping her skin from getting clear. And she said she’ll make sure Jo gets to the dermatologist when she’s back in town. I didn’t think I was the AH but my ex-wife is pretty pissed and called me an AH multiple times so am I?

The internet let OP fully have it.

jopa1967 wrote:

YTA. Acne isn’t caused by lack of face washing. There’s this really cool website you can use for looking up basic information. You should check it out. You can just type in your question and get an answer. And it’s totally free! In addition to medical information, it can also provide you with helpful basic parenting advice. Check it out!

RoyallyOakie wrote:

YTA...Your daughter asked you for professional help and you told her to wash her face? How can you have so little empathy for a teenage girl who's feeling self-conscious?? Apologize. Educate yourself. Then get her the help she's asking for.

SpeakOfTheMe wrote:

100% this, YTA. I had very mild acne as a teen but it still made me feel self conscious for a while. When I told my mum it was bothering me the first thing she asked was if I wanted her to make me a doctor’s appointment. I would have been really hurt if her response was ‘but are you sure you’re washing your face?’

Francoisepremiere wrote:

YTA. My parents did this to me too. My dad told me to scrub my face with Bon Ami (old-style powdered cleaner, like Comet) because "obviously" I wasn't cleaning my face well enough. We had good insurance that would have covered a visit to the dermatologist but they thought that would be "spoiling" me because I was just vain and "it's not that bad."

Their negligence left me literally scarred for life. I have had to spend thousands as an adult on skin treatments such as lasers and microdermabrasion to deal with the scarring. ACNE IS NOT CAUSED BY DIRT. SCIENCE. Take your kid to the doctor.

PurpleMarsAlien wrote:

YTA. I thought the whole "acne is caused by lack of face washing" thing DIED back in the early 2000s. Washing too much can actually dry out your skin and can worsen hormonal acne. Scrubbing too hard can worsen hormonal acne. Even some over the counter acne treatments can worsen hormonal acne. Take your kid to the dermatologist, AH.

ParagonofAdequacy wrote:


Daughter: "Dad, I've tried everything to get my acne to clear up, and nothing is working. I need to see a specialist. Can you set that up for me?"

Dad: "Doctor? You want to see a DOCTOR? You're just dirty and won't take of yourself! Here's some soap!"

OP, that is pretty much how you sounded to her. You are 100%, make that 110%, the AH.

YouthNAsia63 wrote:

I had acne till my mid twenties and, yes, I washed my damned face. With soap and cleansers and various kinds of over the counter crap, so often that at one point my skin was so dry it started to flake- and I still got pimples. I finally took myself to the dermatologist and he gave me some prescription stuff and that finally fixed me right up. YTA.

plumpynutbar wrote:

Same. My parents refused to take me to a dermatologist as well. When I was a kid my acne was blamed on chocolate. To this day the thought of eating chocolate makes me nauseous. I finally went to a dermatologist when I had my own insurance at 21. Six months of medication later and I’ve not had another pimple again.

Theythinknot wrote:

YTA. You do realize that over washing can cause acne? Or if the cleanser she has is too harsh, it can dry out and irritate her skin, causing acne too. Acne happens for many different reasons. Treatments for one cause don’t necessarily work for another. The dermatologist can better identify the cause and the treatment needed.

You can help her best by backing off. Your daughter knows she has acne, and there’s no one in the world who wants it cured more than she does. She and the dermatologist need to figure out what works for her skin.

Gaudiloquy wrote:

YTA. It sucks that the majority of the medical community dismiss women and girls' health concerns rather than even try to help them, and here you are doing the same to your own daughter. And yes, acne is a health concern. And no, it is not always magically cured with face wash.

Clearly, everyone in the comment section is in agreement that OP messed up. Hopefully, he's open to really absorbing that feedback moving forward.

Sources: Reddit
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