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14 year old dd and acne

(30 Posts)
Craggyhollow Tue 07-Jan-14 16:32:07

Poor dd. She's had spots since she was 8, just tiny ones. Now she's 14 she has loads of spots, on her back as well.
We've been to the doctors who prescribed a topical antibiotic which worked for a couple of months. She's been religiously washing with cetaphil twice a day and applying 10 percent benzoyl peroxide and they are just getting worse. She's refusing to go back to the docs and Tbh I can't see what else he could suggest. She hasn't started her periods yet so the pill isn't an option. She's a very keen athlete and I've read that accutane can lead to bad joint pain.

She's an exceptionally attractive girl, full of confidence, but I can see her getting more and more miserable about it.

Any advice or support welcome!

lbab1702 Tue 07-Jan-14 16:48:46


I really feel for you and your DD. Really do go back to your Doctor. I had the same thing with my DD, with prescribed creams working initially but then the spots coming back worse. The doctor changed the cream and prescribed antibiotics. It's taken 6 months on the antibiotics and her skin is almost clear. The doctor has just prescribed another 6 month of the antibiotics and will review further treatment after that. 6 months seems a long time for the acne to clear, but (fingers crossed ) her clear skin is here to stay. It's such a relief and the minor scarring is finally having a chance to fade. My DD is so happy again, so please do go back to your doctor. Mine was very sympathetic and has dome all she can to help.


Craggyhollow Tue 07-Jan-14 16:56:28

Thank you Louise. It's hard to take dd out of school for docs apps but I will try. Which antibiotics were they?

LastingLight Tue 07-Jan-14 16:57:42

I agree with Louise, go back to the doctor, there are other options to try. I had bad acne all through my teens and into my twenties and the only thing that helped was accutane. The only side effect I had was that my skin became a bit sun sensitive. I was very shy to begin with so having acne on top of that was very bad for my self esteem and I'm really grateful that my parents took it seriously and got it treated.

Craggyhollow Tue 07-Jan-14 17:19:38

Thank you. Prompted by this I have made an appointment for tomorrow smile

CaptainHindsight Tue 07-Jan-14 17:21:08

The only thing that worked for me was Dianette which happens to be an contraceptive too.

My skin was clear within 6 weeks!

Floralnomad Tue 07-Jan-14 17:24:51

My DD had a course of roaccutane at 13/14 after trying several lotions and potions from the GP ,best thing we ever did . She coincidentally has CFS and it didn't make her any worse taking the roaccutane so I wouldn't personally be too concerned about that side of things .My son had roaccutane at 16 and it also worked really well with him and aside from dry lips neither had any side effects and it's done wonders for them from a confidence POV. They both inherited crappy skin from my DH .

longingforsomesleep Tue 07-Jan-14 22:30:19

Oh yes, do go back to the doctor. They will want to try various things themselves but if nothing they prescribe works then they should refer your dd to a dermatologist.

Huge sympathy here. I suffered with terrible skin in my teens, twenties and early 30s. It took Roaccutane in my 20s (three times) and it was very effective. Being pregnant in my 30s was the only thing that really nailed it on the head though! Roaccutane does have side effects and while these may not materialise in some people, they do in others - so be warned. In my 50s now and suffer from bad joint pain and wonder if it might be related? (or maybe it's an old age thing!)

I'm now watching my 17 year old ds wrestle with bad skin and it's breaking my heart (probably more so than it would have done if I hadn't had such bad experiences myself). We had a lovely shopping trip and lunch yesterday before he went back to school which was only marred by the sight of him standing in front of the teenage skin products in Boots then turning to me to say hopefully, 'mum - do you think any of these might work?' sad

He is on antibiotics which don't seem to be making any difference. But I'm interested in Ibab's comments that they can take up to 6 months to work. He's been taking his current lot for about 3 months but it sounds like it might be worth persevering?

MrsBright Tue 07-Jan-14 23:18:38

Aside from the antibiotics, just be careful about harsh chemicals/soaps/scrubs etc. Sometimes it can simply exacerbate skin that is highly sensitive.

I had bad skin from 10yrs onwards - chronic spots, blocked pores etc. Only in my 30s did I realise that all the 'acne' washes etc were making the problems worse, and maybe even causing the problem. Switched to Simple (everything) and baby shampoo. Now I rarely have a break-out. Try it for a few weeks - see how she gets on.

longingforsomesleep Wed 08-Jan-14 08:18:59

Of course it could be MrsBright that you just grew out of it in your 30s!

Craggyhollow Wed 08-Jan-14 12:17:44

well she now has a 2 month course of lymacycline and I have just ordered her the liz earle cleanse and polish set so that she feels a bit 'treaty' rather than a medical case. will report back!

lbab1702 Wed 08-Jan-14 13:19:47

That's great news Craggy, that's the same antibiotic my DD has. She initially had a very bad back and forehead. Her forehead cleared quite quickly with occassional outbreaks after about 3 months, but she develpoed a new lot on her cheeks. Her back has taken about 5 months to clear with just the occassional single pimple, and while her cheeks cleared significantly by the 5th month it's only in the last month that she's had no new outbreaks. By the way, she also has been using the Liz Early cleanse and polish and loves in ( well worth the cost ). Fingers crossed you get the same great results we have.

Craggyhollow Wed 08-Jan-14 13:54:17

So reassuring thank you x

Maryz Wed 08-Jan-14 19:42:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Craggyhollow Wed 08-Jan-14 21:13:40

I am very reluctant to go accutane as she is a v good and quite successful athlete

He coach said please don't as the joint pain can be horrendous

Obvs if she got really ground down by it I would see what dermatologist said

Maryz Wed 08-Jan-14 21:19:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Craggyhollow Wed 08-Jan-14 21:46:19

That's good to hear. I definitely have it in the back of my mind. Very glad to hear it has worked for your boy

Edenviolet Wed 08-Jan-14 21:53:27

I had horrible,horrible spots as a teenager and was massively depressed about it.

I had erythromycin for a while which didn't work that well and zinger yet lotion which burnt.
Tea tree oil also burnt my skin and spot lotions eg clean and clear, oxy etc were all too harsh and my face was always spotty and red and sore.i washed it twice a day and it was awful.

Then I stopped using all that stuff, got a mild fragrance free facial wash and a moisturiser that was fragrance free and non pore blocking. I washed my face every evening and rinsed it for ages and ages before putting on the moisturiser.
I also started drinking lots of water and with every meal ate a bowl of the following-watercress, cucumber and raw carrot. I also took a multivitamin and iron and within weeks my skin was 95% better after years of spots and soreness. I have pcos so that may have been a factor but the diet and skincare change helped no end.

Edenviolet Wed 08-Jan-14 21:53:45


Maryz Wed 08-Jan-14 22:00:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

longingforsomesleep Wed 08-Jan-14 22:54:25

Maryz - I agree entirely! It always infuriates me when people come on acne threads and start talking about over the counter remedies, dietary changes or gentle face washes which cleared up their 'acne'. I know they're trying to be helpful but honestly!!! My acne cleared up when I got married - maybe that's the solution? hmm.

Roaccutane does get a bad press and I do believe that there are occasions when it can have really severe side effects. But you've got to decide which is the lesser evil. In my 20s I regularly felt suicidal over my acne. It severely curtailed by social life, my work life (called in sick when it was really bad) and my self-esteem. I had it on my face, neck, chest and back. The first thing I did on waking was to put my hands to my face to see what had erupted overnight. The only thing apart from roaccutane which really worked for me was sunshine (hot sunshine abroad not UK!). I baked myself whenever I got the opportunity and of course now am worried about skin cancer!

The side effects I experienced with roaccutane were very dry skin (fantastic being able to slather moisturiser on my previously greasy face), extremely dry lips and night sweats. I was not aware of any joint pain at the time though I am now (I don't know if there is any link) - but I'm in my 50s with a family history of arthritis etc so may be no connection. Taking roaccutane was fantastic and completely changed my life. It was wonderful to get out of bed, have a quick wash and go to work. Previously I would spend at least an hour in the bathroom trowelling on make up. I did take it 3 times as the acne did reappear - though not immediately and less severely each time.

As I'm sure you know, you have to be prescribed roaccutane by a dermatologist. I suffered for about 12 years before I found a gp who would refer me. I then saw the same dermatologist for a number of years and it was wonderful to be able to access someone who knew what was what and who was hugely sympathetic. He helped me so much I wrote to him a few years after I'd been signed off because I wanted him to know what an impact he had had on my life. Quite literally, if he hadn't helped me to control my acne, I would never have had the confidence to get together with DH and would never have had my wonderful family.

AffineWatercolourist Wed 08-Jan-14 23:04:23

Watch out with benzoyl peroxide as it too makes the skin very vulnerable to sun damage. (Also, have you managed to get any recently anywhere? Everywhere I've tried says there's none available due to a 'manufacturing issue'.)

Maryz Wed 08-Jan-14 23:15:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

longingforsomesleep Wed 08-Jan-14 23:28:39

Oh yes - I remember the first time I took it my skin got even worse. I couldn't bear to look in the mirror. And then it cleared. Completely.

I have to really keep myself in check with my 17 year old ds. His skin is bad enough to warrant antibiotics (which aren't making a whole load of difference) and I think he makes it look redder and angrier than necessary because he won't leave it alone. But when I look at his face (fleetingly, sideways so he doesn't think I'm scrutinising!) I feel that old familiar panic and I have to fight to look at him objectively and calmly. It's not bad enough to warrant roaccutane. He has pimples on his chest and back but not the big acne style lumps that leave blood on your shirt (or blouse in my case). He also plays rugby and I think his scrum cap and having his head wedged in various places aggravates it around the sides of his face and forehead.

He is very self conscious but it doesn't seem to impact on his social life or willingness to play sport. If it ever does we will be back to the gp and if he won't refer him to a dermatologist I will pay for it myself - even if we have to remortgage to do it!!

Craggyhollow Thu 09-Jan-14 07:35:10

Longing - that sounds like dd

Not huge painful lumps (that I had) on her back, just pimples

Plus aggravated on forehead possibly due to swim cap

I have started changing pillowcase every day plus towels hmm

Plus a new swim hat!

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