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What can I do to help? (Acne related and v.v. bizarre.)

(31 Posts)
FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 06:46:22

I have a young girl of 23 who works for me. She has bad acne. She is Philippino. I have just found out this morning that she has sent an amount of money which is equivalent to ONE THIRD of her monthly salary back home for some 'herbal oil' treatment that she believes will cure her.

You see it's not actually acne she has - Oh no. She has had a black magic spell put on her by a boy who fell in love with her a few years ago, and she did not reciprocate so this is her punishment, sent from him.

Her previous employer took her to a Dermatologist who prescribed antibiotics which 'made her feel sick' and she only took one month's course, although by the sounds of it there was a bit of a temporary improvement. I know that for acne ABs to be effective you need to wait 3 months or even longer to see an improvement sometimes.

I was considering approaching her about her skin as she is a lovely looking girl and I knew it must be getting her down, but I didn't want to seem rude by pre-empting it. However, now she has brought the subject up, how can I help her?

I think she is buying rubbish 'irritant' stuff like Clearasil as well, which will inflame it and make it worse.

She is reluctant to go down the AB route again as she doesn't believe they will help. I'm afraid to say my first reaction was to go shock and burst out laughing when she told me about the curse, and she looked a bit wounded and indignant when I suggested that she might have wasted an awful lot of money on this 'cure'.

What is likely to be in this 'potion' from the Philippines and can we recreate it here, for a fraction of the price and without the Voodoo?

Castor Oil? Tea tree? Colloidal silver? Anything? confused

I need to tread carefully - I don't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel foolish.

womblingalong Tue 20-Nov-12 06:50:56

Hi fellatio, sounds like a tricky situation, and it's lovely that you want to help. I am not an expert, but there was another thread about acne yesterday, where someone suggested using low strength Benzoyl Peroxide gel a couple of times a day and looking at the website. You might want to check it out?


FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 06:56:38

Yes, saw that briefly but didn't want to hijack it with my own weird woes! Is the Benzoyl Peroxide like an acid peel then? that might work - I could order that on Ebay and get my kids to bring it out here when they come at Christmas. I wonder if I can persuade her to try it though....

FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 06:56:50

will look at that website, thanks.

chickydoo Tue 20-Nov-12 07:01:29

Get thee to boots online.
Proactiv system has been my saviour.
It's expensive £39 but really works ( it did for me)
In the set you get a scrub, a lotion and a cream.
My Acne prone skin has never been better.
Think it contains Benzyl peroxide & other stuff. Highly recommend

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 20-Nov-12 07:19:24

The Pill (Dianette then Yasmin) is the only thing that has really worked for me, but probably the hardest to persuade her to try...

I find a mix of topical cream plus an "on the spot" super strength cream (the Skin Doctors one is good for big spots without a head, but the Origins one is easier to find) works well to get rid of existing spots and help prevent new break outs

FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 07:23:51

Quite honestly I don't know if she would even get the pill prescribed here; as an unmarried woman it is illegal for her to have sex!

Although I am not sure - if it was for sound medical reasons they may make exceptions. Catholic though - unlikely to go for that. (although it would be a weight off my mind in more ways than one if she did.)

gregssausageroll Tue 20-Nov-12 07:50:28

Could you get some products and have them on the pretence that they are yours and see if she wants to try them?

Pinot Tue 20-Nov-12 09:48:10

Oh Fell you are lovely.

Can you describe her skin a little more, please? Where are the spots? Chin/forehead/cheeks? Are they tiny whiteheads or more like cystic bumps? Is it all the time or does it get worse (like around her cycle?)

FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 11:32:58

Erm, <goes upstairs on a pretext, tries not to stare> they are on her cheeks and a lot on her forehead and around her hairline. Bumpy and angry red mostly but she does get big whiteheads too. Can't say I've noticed blackheads particularly. She hasn't been here long enough for me too notice whether it's cycle related yet, but I will try to ask her.

Pinot Tue 20-Nov-12 14:54:42

I would hazard a guess that it's not to do with hormones in the way my 'orrible acne was. So no need to suggest the pill etc, as that is more for chin/neck hormonal spots iirc.

I would recommend some deep cleaning but gentle cleansing system - I use la roche posay. And a gentle moisturiser.

Actually I wonder if it's the same thing that was linked on a thread yesterday. I'll go see...

Pinot Tue 20-Nov-12 14:57:01

Have a looksy here

FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 15:10:57

thanks, I will.

CaroleService Tue 20-Nov-12 16:40:11

Truly, the benzoyl peroxide is good stuff. A 2.5% ointment generously slathered on twice a day worked for me when years of ABs, the pill and both together didn't help. Direct her to

MummyCoolski Tue 20-Nov-12 16:44:02

Agree about benzoyl peroxide, but be careful as it bleaches stuff (towels, eyebrows etc)!

FellatioNelson Tue 20-Nov-12 17:14:08

eyebrows? shock I will google all these things, thanks.

fatcuntroller Tue 20-Nov-12 17:30:45

I've seen benzoyl peroxide raved about on here, but a word of caution; the 2.5% one made my skin blister. The blisters then burst and left me with fetching scabs to match the fetching spots. I would test it on a very small patch of skin first!

Pinot Tue 20-Nov-12 19:48:53

Benzoyl Peroxide burnt my skin. I was using elemis anti-ageing wotsit at the time, I think maybe I thinned it too much and POW - the BP did one on me.

Celticlassie Tue 20-Nov-12 20:52:58

Benzoyl Peroxide made my skin very dry too, so you have to combine it with oil free moisturiser. Dianette was the best thing for me, but my doctor won't let me have it any more angry. My friend's dermatologist recommended Neutrogena to her, and I use the Deep Clean daily scrub and really like it. My skin does seem better since I've been using it.

abbathehorse Tue 20-Nov-12 20:58:32

Two friends of mine had similar acne to what you describe with this girl. Really bad, red and angry, so much so that they didn't want to go out. After trying antibiotics, the pill and topical things they were prescribed Roaccutane which literally completely sorted the problem.

I also had acne which wasn't as bad as theirs but went on for decades and eventually got prescribed it, it was amazing. You go on it for two or three months, it dries out your skin really badly, but the spots stop! Afterwards your skin is not so dry, just less greasy than before.

It can be difficult to get and I think a dermatologist referral is needed. Also it's v important not to get pregnant while on it as it causes birth defects, so it is pretty radical treatment, but I'm so glad I finally had it. I would so recommend it.

It's really nice of you to want to help her OP.

msrisotto Tue 20-Nov-12 21:08:06

Roaccutane can have devastating consequences, I would only consider it if I was literally thinking of taking my own life as an alternative.

I hope you have a good relationship with this girl OP because I wouldn't appreciate my colleagues giving me unsolicited advice, particularly when you've just laughed at her beliefs.

drcrab Tue 20-Nov-12 21:08:20

I've had that sort of bad angry painful acne. And I'm from that part of the world too - not the Philippines but nearish. Do you live out there too?

The only thing that worked for me was roaccutane. Lots of side effects listed but didn't really affect me. It cleared it up v quickly and I had to take two cycles. Same thing worked for my little brother too. We had been on ABs, topical creams, clearisils to no avail.

Don't think the pill will be prescribed over there if not married!!

abbathehorse Tue 20-Nov-12 21:27:10

yikes, what kind of consequences mrsrisotto?

msrisotto Tue 20-Nov-12 21:51:07

Liver failure, heart problems, kidney dysfunction, depression, suicide, birth defects, crohns disease. Those are some of the more life threatening ones.

Google 'Accutane ruined my life' for testimonials

msrisotto Tue 20-Nov-12 21:56:00

Maybe it has been refined, lower doses etc over recent years, I dunno but I'd be very reluctant to do it myself.

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