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Acne! Help!

(31 Posts)
NanaNina Sat 16-Nov-13 00:31:10

I've posted before on this and got good advice but wondering if anyone has been through this with their teenager. My DGD is 13 and has acne (spots on brow, around nose and chin) and is spoiling her otherwise beautiful face! She has had AB cream from GP - no good, oral ABs no good and now another cream which is not doing any good. I am trying to get my DIL to take her to a dermatologist and offering to pay and she is thinking about it. This isn't a MIL/DIL issue by the way - we got on very well and I think my DIL is a brilliant mom in every way, but she suffered with acne and I think is playing it down with DGD unless it really bothers her.

Any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.

Musicaltheatremum Sat 16-Nov-13 13:24:09

It's an awful problem. Both my children had it. If she has had oral antibiotics for 6 months and no improvement she should go to a dermatologist for sure for roaccutane. Your DGD is young and still has several hormonal years ahead. You want to reduce the chance of scarring which is better done sooner than later. Both my two had it and now both have great skin. Daughter had a flare up after roaccutane but it responded to antibiotics this time round and now at 20 she has gorgeous skin.

Thants Sat 16-Nov-13 13:30:38

The best thing I've used is benzoyl peroxide cream. Use just a dab on acne and no more than once a day and make sure to use a good moisturiser as it can dry skin.

Chopchopbusybusy Sat 16-Nov-13 13:39:28

The GP can refer her to a dermatologist on the NHS.

Ilovefluffysheep Sat 16-Nov-13 19:28:22

My daughter exhausted everything the gp could offer. She was referred to the dermatologist, and completed a 3 month course of roaccutane. It was amazing, and totally cleared up her skin.

NanaNina Sun 17-Nov-13 12:28:14

Oh thanks all. I have heard of this wonder drug roaccutane before on MN but know my DIL will be scared of the side effects. I even heard someone say that it can cause depression and suicidal feelings in teenagers. Assume it is a last resort treatment.

secretscwirrels Sun 17-Nov-13 13:38:39

I avoided the roaccutane for DS for the reasons you give. But if the acne is causing serious distress you have to weigh up the risks and benefits.
If she is only 13 I wonder whether she has given the ABs long enough? Our GP used to alternate two different drugs for DS and he had a topical cream called Differin when the Benzoyl Peroxide stopped working.
He is almost 18 now and the acne is almost gone, he does have scarring on his back though.

NanaNina Sun 17-Nov-13 16:34:06

Thanks for this secretscwirrels - I googled roaccutane again and apparently it is no longer prescribed in the USA. The site I was on said this was because someone was claiming that the drug had given them some kind of bowel disease, and the drug company Roche wanted to avoid expensive litigation. All the same it is worrying that they have withdrawn the drug altogether in the US. Makes me a bit more worried.

Another case involving suicide of a young person apparently happened 10 years after he had taken roaccutane so it seems unlikely that was the cause, although he mentioned it in his suicide note.

I don't think the acne is causing my DGD serious distress to be honest. I don't mention it to her as I think it might make things worse. I've asked her mom and she says "well she'd rather not have it....." and apparently she has been asking her mom (who also suffered with acne for most of her teens) when it cleared up. She always seems happy and is doing well at school and has good friends. When she goes out she wears a concealer and make-up which I think boosts her confidence.

Glad your son's acne has cleared up.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sun 17-Nov-13 20:18:31

If your DGD isn't distressed by it and she's not scratching or picking (so no real risk of scarring) then I'm not really sure why you feel action must be taken? She'll almost certainly grow out of it and surely you can look past a few spots in the meantime?

I say this as someone who suffered quite badly with acne as a teen and was prescribed meds for it.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Sun 17-Nov-13 20:21:18

Just googled and it was doxycycline I took.

sweetfluffybunnies Mon 18-Nov-13 09:19:16

My dd went through this from the age of 13. She had different antibiotics which all worked initially and then gradually stopped working, then the GP prescibed retin creams which were way too harsh - dd has sensitive skin. Finally she was given a cream called skinoren, which seems to work well, and she went on the contraceptive pill. She has just turned 16 and her skin is now beautiful.

Even if your dgd is not bothered at the moment, she may well become more aware as she gets older. I was very concerned about the possibility of scarring, which is why I persevered with trying to find treatments for my dd - both her father and uncle have quite bad scarring from acne which went untreated during their teens.

MrsBright Mon 18-Nov-13 10:59:00

First of all, throw away any face washes etc designed for acne. They are frequently the cause (or at least aggravate) of the problem as they are often too harshe. Get her to use Simple everything for three weeks (face wash, scrub, make up wipes, moisturiser etc etc) and see if that makes a difference. If it does, then either stick with that or look around for other 'sensitive skin' washes/scrubs (Neutrogena are good).

My 13 year old uses a prescription lotion which has a mild AB and zinc and makes a very def. difference when she has an outbreak - Zineryt - it comes in a little roll-on thing and is discreet enough that she can use it at school.

NanaNina Mon 18-Nov-13 12:36:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sadsometimes Mon 18-Nov-13 15:18:55

My dd is almost 14 and has mild acne on her face and back. It does make her a bit miserable sometimes and like your GD she's tried topical antibs, benzoyl peroxide creams - both of which worked for a while then stopped. She has to started her periods yet but after a year of periods I will suggest dianette as it works miracles on acne.

sadsometimes Mon 18-Nov-13 15:19:30

Sorry that should say she has NOT started her periods yet

NanaNina Mon 18-Nov-13 19:34:39

I asked for my message to be withdrawn as I realised I had made put some sensitive info about my DGD in the public domain! Not that anyone would have seen it who knew the family but you never know.
MrsRM Of course I can "look past a few spots" but it's just that I love her so much and I know it sounds daft but I just want everything to be right for her, and I'm like that about all the people I love, even my grown up sons and DILs.

SFBs do you mind my asking how old your DD was when she went on the pill. I know it's far too young just yet but my DIL's niece told me recently that she had bad acne all through her teenage years and it only cleared up when she started taking the pill aged 19.

SS can you tell me about dianette? Is it related to periods? My DGD started her periods aged 12. She really has had a hormone surge and has changed so much this past year and has most definitely reached puberty.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 19-Nov-13 00:28:52

OP it's lovely you care so much for your family including your DGD and that you're willing to invest so much time and energy to help them. Apologies if I came across as dismissive before - that's not the intention.

However your posts do come across as a bit dismissive of your DIL's handling of this and I think you may just need to be a little bit careful not to appear as if you are ignoring how she has chosen to parent her daughter.

febel Tue 19-Nov-13 08:26:32

Both our elder daughters went on a Roaccatine course. The eldest is now in her early 20s, went on at 16/ was a miracle cure for her...although bless her she didn't seem bothered by her acne (and it was BAD) but underneath it all she was. We never made a thing about it though, in fact didn't really mention it. Her skin is still fine 6 years later.
Our MD, just21, got late onset acne, is on it now, nearly finished a few months course and it has worked. NOTHING else worked for them, we tried everything, doc prescribed lotions, antibiotics, face wash , contraceptive pill ..everything. They both look back at photos of themselves with the acne and don't regret taking roacatine at all...and I have never commented myself on their acne ...except with my MD who used to moan about it and use loads of makeup to cover it..I used to tell her to get to the doctors again...bear in mind she was 18/19 at this time, not 13. HOWEVER, not sure if 13 is a little is a nasty drug and does have side effects...although our girls just found it VERY drying..throat, nose (bleeds if you blow it with MD) lips (Vaseline every 15 minutes it seems!) and blood tests every month to make sure you are ok, but that's what it's meant to do...dry up all the oils. My YD is a little acne prone and the doc did suggest roacatine but both her and myself said we'd rather wait (she is just 16) but tbh I think in the next few months she may go on it. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

MrsBungleScare Tue 19-Nov-13 08:31:38

One course of roaccutane cleared up the acne I had had since I was 13. I had terrible skin for 13 years. I've hardly had a spot since. I did not have one side effect.

sweetfluffybunnies Tue 19-Nov-13 10:51:04

Hi Nana, my dd went on the pill when she had just turned 15, solely as a treatment for acne. It took a few months but the effect has been amazing, her skin is now completely clear. She is now worried that the GP will stop prescribing it for her, as she is convinced her acne will return if she stops taking it.

NanaNina Tue 19-Nov-13 12:25:50

Thanks again to everyone. MrsRM I did say this wasn't a MIL/DIL thing as we get on very well, and I truly think she is an excellent mother and primary school teacher. She is just a natural with children and she has taught me a few lessons in the past, when I have felt over protected towards my DGD! You are right though, I know I should just leave it to her - I'll try my best on that one!

longingforsomesleep Tue 19-Nov-13 23:54:23

Mrs Malcolm - if you had quite bad acne as a teen then surely you really must know that scarring isn't just caused by picking and scratching!!! Severe acne can cause severe scarring and pitting whether you leave it alone or not.

As an ex-acne sufferer and as a mum currently watching 17 year old ds suffer turmoil over the state of his skin, comments like 'don't pick' or 'use the simple range of face products' make me want to SCREAM!!!

Roaccutane is a really heavy duty drug which can only be prescribed by a consultant (so I'm amazed Febel to hear that a doctor suggested it for your dd when she is only a little acne prone). I think there is strong evidence that it can cause severe depression in a small minority and this depression has undoubtedly led to a small number of suicides. There is also a risk to your liver and monthly blood tests are required to check enzyme levels. The side effects such as extremely dry skin, nose bleeds, cracked lips, night sweats etc are nothing compared to acne but are not always pleasant. And it's not necessarily a permanent cure. I was prescribed it three times but it was only when I became pregnant for the first time at the age of 34 that my acne really stopped (apart from occasional mild flare ups even now in my 50s).

It's a horrible horrible thing and I could weep when I look at my ds with his head down because he doesn't want anyone to look at his face. He's on his second type of antibiotic - first didn't work at all and this lot don't seem to be doing much either. I hope we don't have to go down the Roaccutane route but we shall have to see.

terry110 Wed 04-Dec-13 21:03:19

Reading this I am somewhat relieved as my 15 year old daughter has been getting the odd spot for which we got Freederm. 48 hours later she woke up with a blotchy red face, puffy cheeks and her skin was quite tight. Took her to GP who thought it was a reaction to Freederm and gave her antihistamines for 2 weeks. daughter Absolutely distraught as she thinks that it should just disappear as she had really good skin before. can't seem to get through to her that things take time to clear up and that she isn'T going to be like this for life! My husband and I can't believe that she can react like this! Any other remedies recommended would be greatly recieved.

terry110 Thu 05-Dec-13 13:16:32

Has anyone else had a reaction to Freederm gel? My daughter put it on a couple of spots and within 24 hours, her face was bright red and covered in spots. It's so puffy now she's off school and feeling very sorry for herself. The GP put her on antihistamine's but they've yet to make much difference.
Just wondered if my daughter is a one off or anyone else suffered the same quick reaction?

MrsBright Thu 05-Dec-13 13:52:53

I know this sounds like an old wives tale - and most teenagers are nocturnal - but ..... sunlight does amazing things to spotty skin. Encourage outdoor walks in daylight wherever/whenever possible.

Also DD finds a Neutrogena face wash really good (green coloured)- seems to dry up the shiny face look that actually highlights any existing spots.

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