Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Please help me!

Hi Sam,
I have really, really bad acne therefore I wear foundation to school to hide it. I tell my friends I don't but they always go on about it. They talk about me behind my back. It makes me feel terrible, I even don't want to go to school sometimes. I really need some advice, thank you very much. I just really need to tell someone and get some advice
please, please reply
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank-you for getting in touch, it’s really important that you can talk about what you are going through.

I can hear your friends are making you feel terrible because of the things they do and say. It’s wrong of them to go on about your appearance and it’s also wrong of them to talk behind your back. You are worth being treated well and having good friends who make you feel good about yourself. It’s not your fault that they are behaving like this. Acne is really common, and everyone will get spots at some point.

It sounds like it would really help to talk to someone about it. It can be particularly difficult when it’s your own friends who are giving you a hard time, but you have the right to feel safe and happy at school.

I can hear that you’ve told your friends that you don’t wear foundation, but it sounds like they’ve realised that you do. I wonder what it would be like to be honest with your friends about this, and explain how self-conscious your acne makes you feel? You could ask them straight out to stop going on about your acne and to stop talking about you behind your back. Perhaps they just don’t realise how much it is hurting your feelings ?

If that doesn’t feel possible, or if it doesn’t work, you could try the following:

• Talk to a your head of year or a teacher you trust to ask for advice and support

• Ask someone in your family to help you contact the school to talk about what’s happening

• Write down what your friends say and do and keep it as evidence for when you tell someone

• Find ways of making some new friends, maybe by joining a new club or group, so that you have some more choices about who you spend time with.

There is more advice about bullying and what to do about it in the Explore pages. If you would like to talk to someone more about this or to get further advice you can talk to a ChildLine counsellor by phone, 1-2-1 chat or email.

It’s also worth saying there are loads of different treatments to try for acne. You haven’t told me if you’ve tried anything for your spots yet. Maybe you could start by speaking to your school nurse, or GP, or to your local pharmacist? NHS Living Well have some helpful advice about things that can help and the Teenage Health Freak website is also work a look.

Hope this helps,

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter