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

Mmmango Sat 19-May-12 14:29:46

The only information I have is 20 years out of date, but when I was a horribly spotty teenager it was really just a case of going back to the doctor and trying something new until it worked. It must have taken at least a year, but what finally did it for me was Retin-A - I know different things work for different people. The only advice I have is to stick to prescription stuff (not toothpaste!) and keep going back to the doctors - if you don't see any improvement in 6 weeks, then go back and demand try something different.

Don't know anything about injections, sorry.

i know it's no consolation at the moment, but people compliment me on my skin now - it really does pass.

CydCharisse Sat 19-May-12 14:49:48

A colleague of mine has had v. successful treatment of adult acne with a laser/pulsed light thing having tried the whole antibiotics/topical creams route and many other things. It has had a fantastic effect which has not 'worn off' as had all the other treatments he tried, and does not involve any medication. I suspect it's v. expensive though ...

benzoyl peroxide is very good.
she could try following The Regimen at acne.org with panoxyl 2.5% which you can get in boots (order if none in stock).

BP has really cleared my skin up and it worked for a friend who had many troublesome spots on her forehead.

hugs to your daughter. i've been there. it's horrid. x

Please go back to your GP with your daughter - spots cause huge distress to a lot of youngsters and there are so many ways to treat them.

A wash may not be enough for your DD.
There are many different lotions and potions that go on and STAY on so work better than any wash. It is a matter of trying something for a couple of weeks to see how it works.
Duac is popular: works, goes on only once a day, has 2 seperate ingredients. Beware, as long as it's wet it can act a a very mild bleach on dark colours.

Info on acne
Info about creams
Tablets for acne

If all that fails, there is also Roaccutane which is rather a last resort as it has lots of sideeffects, but is very, VERY effective and is usually only a 4 month course. This needs to be prescribed by a dermatologist, blood tests are needed before/during/after treatment and any female HAS to be on the pill for the duration of treatment.

Laser/light other treatments are not usually available on the NHS - certainly not here AFAIK.

All the above treatments take weeks or months to take full effect.

How long as your daughter been using the anti-bacterial wash?

valentia Sat 19-May-12 15:03:58

I used to get quite bad spots but my mum told me to wash my face with plain soap (pure vegetable soap from sainsburys) and water (moisturise afterwards with a light moisturiser-I use fair and lovely to fade marks) and now I only get the odd spot around my period.

I hope you find something because I know how horrible spots can be.

poohbearrocks Sat 19-May-12 15:11:58

Doctors....there are lots of options. You need a sympathetic doctor and now!

In the meantime I second the Quinoderm (Benzyl peroxide) approach. It really helped my son. I would be tempted to go for long term antibiotics and BP stuff if daughter so upset.

For short term self-confidence the anti blemish foundation for Clinque can be used with a light hand to hide them a little - and unlike some foundations won't make them worse. Incidentally if she uses Quinoderm she will need a moisturiser, clinque again have a range for teenage skin although I would not know what to recommend.

I really feel for her.

Most spot creams will cause some degree of skin-drying which can seem quite severe when you are only used to really greasy skin. Nothing wrong with using a (non-comdedogenic) moisturiser.

Washing with water and soap is a good idea, but being clean does not prevent spots as it is to do with skin glads overproducing their secretions and becoming infected.
Also chocolate/fatty food has nothing to do with it even though my brother swears it --did.

AmberLeaf Sat 19-May-12 15:19:06

Organic virgin coconut oil.

I have been using it for my skin and my spotty 15 yr old son nicked some, his forehead is unbelievably clear now, he still gets some spots but they clear quicker and are less red and sore.

He is just using it as a moisturiser after washing, I am doing the oil cleansing method [which is re[ported to be good for acne/spots too]

This is the one I use

ohmygosh123 Sat 19-May-12 15:36:11

I had moderate acne as a late teen, but as itchy as hell - ended up with the doctor, ages with antibiotics - did nothing; roaccutane, better but spent 7 months on it contrary to the 4 months theory and being blood tests regularly for potential liver failure; dianette - much better, but then you gain weight and get a bit moodier - oh joy!

I have been told by a doctor friend that Yasmin is the modern version of dianette, and can really help.

Your DD really needs to see the doctor and a dermatologist, as different people have different reactions to things. Also spots in different places indicate different things, and they are different types of acne - eg for me it is round the jaw (apparently normal with PCOS) and indicates hormone problems.

I have adult acne (started back up 2 years post baby due to PCOS) - and have found that it flares up with cow's milk (apparently its the hormones in the milk), wheat and sugar. Dark chocolate in small amounts is fine, high sugar stuff isn't. Also Nelson's do a homeopathic skin wash etc sold in Boots which is quite calming on the skin.

As a teenager I was recommended to drink aloe vera juice (but made me gag), and there are loads of things that you might read about - its all about finding your triggers. Mum told me recently that teaching out in the South Pacific, she never once saw a teenage islander with spots - basically they had no cow's milk, wheat (used corn flour) or sugar in their diet, and ate lots of oily fish. So there could well be something in the diet, even though junk / fast food companies will obviously say that there is no link - if you have the money you can find a research project to do whatever you want it to do.

Good luck, and take her to the doctor, the sooner you crack it, the less problem you have with scarring and acne forming under the scars .......

Maryz Sat 19-May-12 19:53:45

If it is proper acne no cream/lotion/diet/supplement will touch it.

ds2 has had a course of Roaccutane. It has cost us a fortune, but he says it has literally saved his life.

He was utterly miserable, continuously teased, and lost all his confidence. He is a changed child now that his skin has cleared up.

nah1974 Sat 19-May-12 20:07:49

Please insist on a referral to a dermatologist. There are treatments out there which are very effective, but many are not known or available to GPs. I had bad acne for years and did not receive effective treatment until my early 20's, by which time I was very depressed & had lost all my self confidence.

I was treated with Roaccutane (which is pretty horrid, but very effective) Retin A and another drug whose name I can't remember but it treats the inflamation (and I was told was more usually prescribed for leprosy!). I don't know where you are (and to be fair it's a while since I was treated) but there used to be a centre of excellence at Hammersmith Hospital and this was where I was treated.

Don't be fobbed off by your GP: a face wash is very unlikely to do much, certainly not in the longer term.

Please tell your daughter that it can be treated. I'm 37 now, and pleased to say that I haven't had spots for years - thanks to the great treatment that I got in the end

JosieGlow Sat 19-May-12 20:09:03

Hi Peanut, I really feel for you as a mum and for your daughter. My son resorted to antibiotics and is now 80% better (Tetralysol, I think) which the doctor prescribed. But a sound bit of advice was to moisturise AND to change the pillowcase EVERY NIGHT (well turn it over once and change it the second night). I never liked the thought of long term antiBs but he's pretty healthy and doesn't seem to have suffered any side effects. I notice they come back a bit more if he's not been eating his fruit and veg tho. Best of luck, it's just as distressing for parents to see their babies go through it at such an important time in their lives.

Maryz Sat 19-May-12 20:14:31

By the way, ds2's acne was really, really awful. He was only 11 when it started, by 13 his entire face, back and chest were covered with open sores. There was layer after layer of inflammation when you looked closely at his skin.

He was called acne-face, and opposing rugby teams used to complain about having to get into a scrum with him in case it was infectious. His school shirts were constantly splattered with blood as his so-called friends used to hit him on the back for fun hmm.

6 months of roaccutane and his skin was as clear as anything - not a single spot. Now, 6 months later, it is starting to creep back a little bit so he might need a booster couple of months after the summer, but the difference it has made to his life is unbelievable.

If she has genuine acne, not just a few spots, go back to the gp and demand action. Or go private if you have to - we did(we have to in Ireland), and ds recently thanked me and said it was worth not having a summer holiday every year to cover the cost of the treatment.

chocaholic2011 Sat 19-May-12 20:23:06

Totally agree with the the regime advice! Suffered for 20 years, spent a fortune! 2.5 gel was a miracle cure and easy and cheap too! X

Springforward Sat 19-May-12 20:54:26

Acne is awful for teenagers - t'was the bane of my life.

I second asking the GP for a dermatology referral (it may sound cynical, and I don't mean it to, but if she showed the GP how distressed she is by it all it may help to demonstrate how important this is to her mental health IYSWIM).

In the meantime, take care with OTC medications, it took me ages to work out that the drying effect was making my skin oilier! I use Clinique 3 step now, and even though it's not cheap I swear it keeps my skin under control better than anything else I have used.

summer111 Sat 19-May-12 21:39:14

A few other posters have mentioned Panoxyl here and I would definitely suggest you try this. Dd who is also 15 went through a phase of pustular acne on her forehead last year. I bought her Panoxyl (benzoyl peroxide) 2.5% aquagel from Boots (costs about £2.50) and after a couple of days of use, there was a dramatic improvement in her skin. It does have a drying effect so she coupled it's use with the application of a light moisturiser. Her skin was spot free in a matter of a couple of weeks. She uses Simple skin care products and applies the aquagel when a spot appears.
I'd be a little reluctant to go down the roaccutane route before trying this method first. My sister was successfully treated with roaccutane about 25yrs ago but since then, there has been some reports that link it to depression.
Panoxyl has a bleaching effect on material so offer her a white towel, pillow slip if she uses it.
Best of luck smile

tropicalfish Sat 19-May-12 23:50:33

A few people have mentioned The Regimen at acne.org with panoxyl 2.5% which you can get in boots (order if none in stock).
This works for me and my dd. I discovered the regimen online and thought it was worth trying.

I would try this first for a few weeks before going to the doctor. I certainly noticed an improvement in a week. The idea is that you follow the regimen even when you dont have spots as it is preventative.

norbettsauntie Sun 20-May-12 16:27:46

If you track back a couple of months or so on Style and Beauty you'll find a big thread on glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is the one for your daughter's problem - much better IMO, and those who posted, than going down the presciption medication route.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 20-May-12 16:39:29

. What about the pill? It's the only thing that worked / works for me

Yasmin is the brand that is usually prescribed for acne

peanutbutterandbanana Sun 20-May-12 23:53:06

WOW! What amazing lovely ladies you are! I've been sorting out things for my poor old mum (with dementia) all day so only just got back to the computer and am bowled over by your concern, your ideas, your suggestions! Brilliant! I am going to digest all of this over the next 24 hours and read some of the links you've sent and perhaps get down to Boots as a first step.

DD's forehead looks DREADFUL today and I feel for her. She has been using the anti-b wash since October. It worked to an extent and doc advised having a 4 week break. That was a disaster. Everything came back and she hasn't been able to get it clear since. She is a very healthy young lady - does masses of exercise (competitive swimmer and general athlete), eats lots of salad and fruit and pasta, meat, rice as well as the occasional cake (she needs tons of calories) but is careful with chocolate and sugar.

I didn't mean injection in my first post - I mean pills - sorry, my confusion. All this is so new to me. I have sailed through my whole life with barely one zit to pop! How unfair is that? (But battle my expanding waistline instead!)

Don't really want to go down the prescription route or dematologist until we have tried what other OCM there are available and it seems like there are some products on the market.

Thank you all again -so appreciate your input, Am going to show all this to DD in the morning to put a smile on her face smile

xxxxxxx

peanutbutterandbanana Mon 21-May-12 00:44:51

Okay, almost an hour later and I've been reading up on acne.org and about Benzyl peroxide. I've just been onto ebay and have ordered some Simple face wash (for acne) - thank you for that recommendation. And thank you to Amberleaf for the Coconut Oil recommendation. That is on the order too. Plus some of the 2.5% benzyl.

Then she will have to follow the acne.org regime to the letter.

What is great is that all of this will give her hope and a feeling that something is being done. I have felt so useless, but now I feel strong and powerful with the force of you lovely Mumsnet Mums behind me! I'll let you know how she gets on. Night night ......

superdragonmama Mon 21-May-12 01:15:40

In addition to the various creams etc recommended here, can I recommend drinking lots of water? My friend and I are following a low carb diet, which involves drinking 3litres of water a day; her 13 yr old son, with v bad skin conditions including spots and excema, decided to follow the water regime, and to our astonishment his skin has almost completely cleared up in about 10 days. Definitely worth a try!

vespalover Mon 21-May-12 01:28:26

I have had this problem most of my teenage life and until a few years ago. Doctor advised that diet, water etc makes no difference - positive! I have used zineryt - a topical lotion with a roll on applicator. Only on prescription. Definitely worth speaking to doctor about it although you do need to perservere and use consistently morning and night. Other suggestion- although you might think drastic- is cutting in a blunt choppy fringe? Might help on the confidence front and could grow it out when skin improved? Ignore me if you think that's ridiculous!

Groovee Mon 21-May-12 03:19:04

Boots do a good cleanser of witch hazel and tea tree. My dd is 12 and her forehead was a very angry mess of spots. We use Aveeno for moisturiser and a neutrogena facial wash. The GP has given her an antibiotic liquid which she uses twice a day and has really cleared up her skin well but has left some scaring which will fade eventually. I was advised to give it 2-3 months and if the liquid didn't clear it up to take her back.

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