Teenage Spots - 15 Year Old DD in tears most days - please advise

(72 Posts)
peanutbutterandbanana Sat 19-May-12 13:23:38

My beautiful, talented, gorgeous daughter is plagued with continuous breakouts on her forehead. It troubles her greatly and she cries a lot about it. I know that they will go away eventually, but to her they are a massive curse in her life. We have an anti-bacterial facial wash from the doctor, but even that doesn't seem to be working.
What is the next step? Has anyone else's daughter/son been through this? Are there any herbal remedies we can try THAT WORK?
She has tried so many things (including toothpaste on the spots each night) but nothing seems to work.
And if you have gone down the injection route - would you advise it?
I feel so sad for her and I really want to help her. Can you please help me?
Thank you sad

Maryz Mon 21-May-12 08:32:41

Bear in mind also that if she is a swimmer the pool chemicals will be really drying her skin out. It's hard to convince spotty teenagers that they need to moisturise, but it will be even more important for her to do so if she is swimming every day.

I would also have been very anti the dermatologist/roaccutane route until we tried it with ds. If you feel nothing is working, it isn't a bad way to go - after all, if she had any other illness you would be taking her to a specialist and following their advice, including taking drugs if needed.

Because skin problems aren't life-threatening, and because we all know that they will (eventually) grow out of them, there is a tendency to expect kids to just put up with it. But I know from seeing ds now, without spots, what a different child he is to the one last year. He is also only now telling me how badly he was treated and how much he was teased. He didn't talk about it at the time.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 21-May-12 19:03:00

Yes, Maryz makes a good point about moisturiser. I currently use Nivea Oil Free Moisturising Fluid, but try a few to find one that works best. It should help make the skin between the spots look healthier and less inflamed (IYSWIM), and help reduce scarring. Moisturiser with SPF is good too, because quite a few of the treatments mentioned up on the thread can make skin more sensitive to sun burn.

Springforward Mon 21-May-12 19:12:01

OP, I'd go careful with Simple products - they make my skin ten times worse. I have no idea why, but I know I'm not alone - there was an S&B thread a little while ago which had lots of people saying the same thing.

Completely second Maryz on the moisturiser thing - I find that my skin is massively worse if I've not moisturised properly as it gets even oiler and more congested, particularly if I'm swimming regularly. The only ones I really get on with are Clinique Dramatically Different Gel and Moisture Surge. There must be others good for really oily skin, but I've never found them myself, unfortunately for my pocket.

There might be a bit of trial and error in finding the right thing for your DD ahead - hope she hits on something which suits her soon.

coybiatch Mon 21-May-12 21:18:42

I'm 37 and I finally do not have spots because of Roaccutane. I have used everything else over the years (topical treatments, oral antibiotics) that either stopped working or treatments could only be taken for x number of years (antibiotics) and had to be switched. IMO many years as a teenager and even during university of feeling bad about myself were not worthwhile and could have been avoided by a few months worth of Roaccutane. Sending hugs to your DD!

Maryz Mon 21-May-12 21:37:15

Interestingly, my boys have both found that the nivea for men sensitive range is really good - they do a gentle exfoliator, a facewash and a moisturiser. In fact they are so good that dd has taken to using them!

The moisturiser in particular seems to moisturise without looking shiny.

OneWaySystemBlues Mon 21-May-12 22:18:43

Go to the GP. My daughter has really greasy skin and terrible spots - or she did until I took her to the doctor who prescribed an antibiotic cream (Duac Once Daily) which has done the business. I can't believe the difference it made, she was so unhappy before and she was only just 13. She's been using it for over 6 months and I'm really glad I took her. She'd tried lots of over the counter cleaners/spot treatments and nothing worked. She's gone from having a fore head that was all bumpy to having lovely smooth skin.

MrsApplepants Mon 21-May-12 23:02:05

Go back to docs and ask for zineryt (its a lotion applied twice a day with roll on applicator) I used it for late onset acne and it worked amazingly. Am surprised doctor has not prescribed it already.

summer111 Mon 21-May-12 23:14:28

Peanutbutter, do let us know how dd gets on, I'm confident the regime will work!

sashh Tue 22-May-12 05:38:38

Checck her make up isn't out of date. If she wears makeup she needs to wash all brushes / sponges everytime she puts make up on.

OK clease, tone and moisturise - every morning and night. Use different cotton pads for the forehead.

Tea tree is quite good.

Is her hair greasy too?

peanutbutterandbanana Tue 22-May-12 12:53:12

Thank you. Vespa - DD is using zineryt which worked to start with but when she took a rest (as advised) it all came back worse even though she is back on it again - nothing shifting.
I've shown her this thread and she is thrilled to know that there are various solutions to try. We are waiting for the lotions and potions to arrive and will then start the REGIME. I will encourage more water Dragon and a fringe may be a good solution too Vespa!
Onwards and upwards!

peanutbutterandbanana Tue 22-May-12 12:56:21

Ooh just seen loads of other posts which hadn't popped onto my screen - thank you all for all the advice - it is so comforting. I've just come back from a friend's house and told her how brilliant mumsnet is for advice and she is going to log on to get her DD's problems answered! THANK YOU ONE AND ALL smile

Quinoderm...I think it contains Benzyl Peroxide...worked wonders for me as a teenager, and saw it a few weeks ago in the chemist so they still make it. I got it on prescription but am fairly sure you can buy it over the counter too. Hth

CatPower Sun 27-May-12 23:31:03

I had awful acne on my face when I was a teen - never on my neck or back, just my face - and it really broke my spirit. It took a lot of farting around with supermarket-bought products (Clearasil, Biactol, Oxy10 etc) until my GP prescribed Quinoderm for me. It was FANTASTIC. You have to be very strict with it - apply it all over the face morning and night, not just on the individual spots. It does sting/burn at first, but once it's been used for a couple of weeks the initial sting does fade. Make sure she uses some oil-free moisturiser during the day, just to combat the drying effect Quinoderm can have. Really hope it helps her out. x

Peanutbutter, so glad that you've felt helped and encouraged by all these responses! Teenage acne is truly awful, I remember the depression and embarrassment so well. I hope your daughter finds a treatment that clears her up. Please update us with how she gets on with the regimen. I didn't follow it to the letter. I found the twice daily application too drying for my skin and i couldn't apply foundation properly over the bp. So I did (and still do) apply the bp at night, then moisturise well in the morning after cleansing. Look forward to hearing if there's an improvement for your daughter x

My hubby had really bad acne in his early twenties and in the end had Roaccutane which sorted it completely. He was an outpatient at the hospital by that time as it was so bad. He has absolutely no scars or pits now. You would never know he had had it and he has lovely skin. He does have to be careful as his skin can get quite red and dry as a result of the Roaccutane - think that's one of the side effects. You will find something that sorts it. Good luck!

takeonboard Mon 28-May-12 22:12:49

* vespalover* the fringe thing is exactly what i did between 12/13 years i wore a long fringe and no one knew what lurked under there!!

My forehead was really bad but the rest of my face was fine. It completely cleared up after about 18 months and my mum had tried everything including cream from the doctors.

Theas18 Tue 29-May-12 07:59:07

Haven't read the thread, just the OP but get her to the GP and get her properly treated.

She's so miserable fannying around with " herbal" things and face washes isn't going to cut the mustard.

Start with a prescribed topical treatment maybe for 2 months then move onto oral antibiotics and likely the spots will clear fine.

If they don't that's another can of worms but probably not for a good 18 months of trying .

(we've been down this with DS since he was 10. He's lasy year had the "big guns" ie roaccutane which had huge side effects but he put up with because it was his choice to have treatment. It has worked v well BUT he still has dry skin and is very sun sensitive - we are a very fair family anyway- he'd say evben if the 2 are caused by the treatment it was worth it)

BIWItheBold Tue 29-May-12 08:22:31

I really sympathise. I had bad acne as a teenager, right through to my early 20s and I'm suffering again in the menopause.

One thing I really regret (although there may not have been any other option when I was a teenager, in the '70s) was taking long-term antibiotics. I have had many issues as an adult with candida - thrush and IBS possibly related to it.

However, there was no denying that antibiotics worked. If for any reason you end up going down that route, please also give your DD a good probiotic, to help preserve/encourage the growth of good bacteria in her gut. (Acidophilus is a good one - you need to buy one from a good health food shop - stored in the fridge - and avoid stuff like Yakult/Activia which is just full of sugar)

pigcon1 Tue 29-May-12 08:33:07

In total agreement with nah1974. Get proper advice early on from a dermatologist.

Maryz Tue 29-May-12 08:33:30

Can I ask you Theas whether your son has finished on the roaccutane yet? ds started on it at 13 (after a year of gp refusing to do anything and a second year of faffing around with waste-of-time antibiotics). He was on it for 8 months, and had beautiful skin by the end.

But he finished at Christmas, and I can see the signs of a few spots creeping back which worries me. We were told that if they get roaccutane when they are young (early teens) they sometimes need a second course of treatment. I was wondering how old your son is now, and did his skin stay clear.

wotzypunkbunny Tue 29-May-12 09:25:56

Good results with liz Earle cleanse and polish, after my friend recommended it, if dd stops using it the spots come back. It comes with a cotton face cloth, it just helps exfoliate the skin gently as you wash.

PinkChampagneandStrawberries Tue 29-May-12 09:29:05

I have suffered from acne for the last 15 years and the only thing that cleared it up was the contraceptive pill dianette

effingwotsits Tue 29-May-12 09:36:14

As a teenager I had terrible spots and was so embarrassed by them and cried most days too.

The doctor gave me oyxtetracyclin and an antibiotic cream which really did the trick.

After that I went on the pill dianette which was a revalation. I had never had skin like it, it was so clear.

I took it for about 8 years and stopped when ttc. I still have spots now but use Vichy products which are the best I've tried, and I've tried a lot.

Hope you find something that works. Bad skin is so awful to live with.

I went on roaccutane when i was 21. It cleared my skin up like a dream and for the first time in years I didn't wear a touch of makeup as my skin was flawless. however, the spots started to creep back and within a few years i was again having to wear makeup every day to cover the many spots. unfortunately, the spots that came back were worse than i'd had before the treatment! roacuttane seemed to alter the structure of my skin and i'd get (and still do) white head spots. I very, very rarely got these prior to roacuttane, just red ones. I'm now 31 and still get spots but my skin has stabilised since using BP. I'm very rarely completely spot free but by wearing makeup every day i'm able to conceal them well.

Theas18 Tue 29-May-12 22:48:34


Ds is 16 and has been off roaccutane 7 months or so I think.

He now has a few spots that Come and go- but they are just spots and he can live with them without worrying. Probably 3-4 months off treatment we had a few " tearing he hair out " weeks when he feared it was all going wrong again bt it passed.

We were told if it started up again try zineryt and then back on oral antibiotics. Dermatologist said that he re treats very few - the response to more standard treatment in his experience was ok- in the few that needed it at all. He said he early needed to re treat and nt before a year off Meds.

Hope it goes well.

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