Acne Ugh

Updated on September 19, 2011
H.E. asks from McAllen, TX
25 answers

my 13 year old is a beautiful vivacious girl, and she has acne. We have tried every over the counter remedy as well as the all promising Proactive. Nothing seems to work. She is broken out on her face and back and shoulders and chest. Myself and her father never had acne like this. I really don't want to put her on an oral medication because it make your face so red and dry. Does anyone have other solutions for this. Anything natural. She washes and washes. She also has bad allergies which I wonder if that has any relevance. Help.

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So What Happened?

thanks so much for all the advice. I am going to use this. She is going to the doctor on Thursday so I will find out more and let yall know. How wonderful to have this kind of help. Thanks for taking the time. H.

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S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Dermatologist. You can spend a lot of time and $$$ trying all kinds of things, but a dermatologist can suggest the best thing. There are different kinds of acne. And she won't be on meds forever. My kids were all on things from a derm for a little while to get them thru the big hormone changes.

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L.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Email me [email protected]____.com My son was on every different antibiotic for 3 years, left such bad scars on him. Switched DR's once his Doc prescribed Accutane and he had hives from head to toe. His next Dr. got rid of his acne in 6 weeks. I would love to share this with EVERYONE. My name is L. Castillo and my son is Josh we live in San Antonio, TX

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

I had this problem since I was a teen. I am now 30. Just recently started seeing a dermatologist for cystic hormonal acne that could not be controlled by birth control. He recommended that I use an aspirin mask a couple times of week. And on nights that I didn't use an oatmeal mask to help hydrate and also exfoliate. You can google online for aspirin and oatmeal mask. I like that it doesn't cost a fortune, it's stuff I have in my home, and it's not a medication. My face has never felt or looked better. All the redness and irritation is gone. He also recommended I use just a gentle mild soap to wash my face with twice a day, I started using my daughters aveeno baby wash. These things have truly helped me. I wish you luck through the teen years and hope you find the answers you're looking for :-)

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J.T.

answers from College Station on

There is a good chance that she is washing too much. She should only be washing twice a day with a mild acne cleanser.

When I was in my teens, I was on retin-A and then accutane. They worked for me and I had no serious side effects, but there can be. I do have to be very careful about the sun, not that I am almost 40.

Take her to a dermatologist and see what he has to say. Not all oral meds make the skin red. They dried mine out and I had to use a really heavy moisturizer daily.

2 moms found this helpful

L.M.

answers from Houston on

I have always struggled with break outs on my face, especially during the hormone years. I am 33 and at times, I still have my moments. I read a book called "Clear Skin" by Jerome M. Aronberg. I looked on amazon and it's available for under $5.00 lol... Anyway, it's a great book that may help. It really helped me when I read it in my 20's. It was given to me by my cousin who also had skin issues and it also worked for her. No weird gimmicks...just real, every day things you should do. I know the face soap (can get as soap or a pump bottle liquid....I use the pump bottle) it's called Purpose. I still use it today and love it. Makes my face feel so clean. If she is broken out and irritated, the LAST thing she will want to do it scrub hard or use a washcloth. It will only irritate her skin more and cause more breakouts. Once she get's clearer...she can use something called a Buff Puff. I use that once a day...LOVE IT! It really gets off all the dead cells and skin or whatever. Anyway, good luck. FYI...the book is kind of a pale light bluish color.

She needs to also make sure she is drinking lots of water, stay away from the greasy foods and no touching of the face with hands. (all in the book)

Good luck to you and her....

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C.R.

answers from Houston on

Have you tried a clarisonic face scrubber? Sephora carries Clarisonic. It's pricey, but I found it to be a miracle worker for acne. I'd recommend getting the sensitive skin brush for your daughter and it works well with whatever face soap you like. I use Clinique. Keep in mind, she won't clear up over night. If it works for your daughter, it will take a few months as everything works it's way out of her pores. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

J.I.

answers from San Antonio on

go read on www.acne.org

I buy their products. I like the products and have continued to use them for a few years now. From what the guy says on his website, he has a 'regimen' of wash, then benzoyle peroxide, then moisturizer. He says part of the key to getting the acne under control is to wait 10-15 minutes between each step, allowing the product to absorb.

Also, I think Mary Kay has a teen product. What would be nice about that, is generally you can return/exchange Mary Kay products if you don't like them.

If all else fails, go see the doctor and see what they say.
BTW - I had similar acne problems shortly after getting off of birth control. I'd never had acne down my back before or on my chest. It was bad. It took a while for the pill to wear off I guess, as the problem just went away for me. Perhaps your daugther has a hormone imbalance/issue or it's just part of growing up. Your dr would be better trained to tell you if that's the case.

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E.B.

answers from Houston on

Take her to the dermatologist. I have found the doctors are very hesitant to put them on any kind of antibiotic. They use retin A products of varying strength which work very well for some, not so much for others. If she has cystic acne then Accutane will work but it is a VERY strong drug that requires a lot of follow up/ monitoring. My son did use it and it did make all the difference to him.
My middle daughter had the large break outs and after many dermatologist visits we finally put her on the pill. Works like a charm! The youngest has more of a fine rash of pimples and we are still trying some creams but I am about to break down and put her on the pill, too.
I'm 55 and STILL have break outs. I am on low dose antibiotics and finally realized a few yars ago that if I wasn't on antibiotics or the pill, my face would break out. I was hoping menopause would cure that -but no luck. I think I'll be on antibiotics until I die!
Good luck.

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

I would definitely suggest that you take her to a dermatologist because if over the counter stuff is not working it may not be normal acne and a prescription cream may be needed. Or there could be something else going on like keratosis or feliculitis.

With that said I'm wondering if she may be washing too much and may not be using the correct soaps. If she has sensitive skin using medicated product to wash more than once a day could over dry the skin and actually cause breakouts. I myself have super sensitive skin and have had issues with acne since I was young. A great product for washing is Cetophil (usually there is a store brand that works just as well.) This is great for sensitive skin. I would also recommend using Witchhazel it is 100% natural and is an astringent, this can be used all over the body after washing. Then the most important step is to moisturize!!! If you do not use a moisturizer then the skin will over dry, then over produce oils clogging pores. I would suggest getting her a sensitive skin moisturizer for her face like Eucerin or Aveeno, some stores even have a store brand. I've used the Kroger brand that is similar to Aveeno and it works just as well. Stay away from anything with oils. For body moisturizer I use St. Ives She Butter and Oatmeal. Anything with oatmeal will calm the skin and help maintain levels of moisture. You may have to try a few different lotions to find one that works since everyone's skin is different. Eucerin and Aveeno have some good ones, I can also use Suave which is the least expensive. Skin allergies and sensitive skin could definitely be the cause. I knwo that I can not use the over the counter acne meds as directed because they make my acne worse, I have to use them less, only once per day. I would use a benzoyl peroxide product in the AM and maybe a salicilic acid product in the evening. Make sure not to mix those 2. Also make sure during a breakout that she does not exfoliate because that can cause scarring, but once skin is clear exfoliating is necessary to prevent further breakouts by removing dead skin. I like the St. Ives apricot facial scrub (store brand works good too.)

You may have to try a few different combinations of things but hopefully you will find the right products for her!

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M.P.

answers from Raleigh on

Washing too much actually aggravates acne. Trust me! I have been dealing with it for 20 years. I have found pretty good success with the following face scrub:

1/2 cup white sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs honey
a few drops of tea tree oil

Mix these together into a paste and keep in an tupperware in the bathroom. Take a little out and scrub GENTLY once a day. It will not sour as long as it's used each day. I would keep the tupperware in the shower and use on my face, shoulders, and back when showering in the morning. You have to give this one a little time and keep it up. I really began to notice an improvement in about 2 weeks. And don't be afraid the oil will make her face greasy- it won't. The olive oil is a natural moisturizer to prevent overdrying, while the honey and tea tree oil help fight off the bacteria that cause the whiteheads and redness. Sometimes the olive oil will collect on the top of the paste, but just pour it off, or mix back in. You will eventually figure out the consistency you like best. The most important part is to scrub very gently. Scrubbing too hard will just aggravate the problem.
I hope this helps! This has really helped me more than any other OTC product. And it doesn't taste bad if it gets in your mouth! lol
The allergies could be making it worse. Is she taking anything medication for her allergies? Look for acne as being a side-effect, if so.
Take care!

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A.H.

answers from Omaha on

My dad and both of my brothers had horrible cystic acne. They were all on meds prescribed by dermatologists such as tetracycline and my younger brother took accutane. I would NOT suggest that for your daughter though. As an adult, my brother and his wife have been unable to conceive a child and while doctors have told him there is no link to the accutane I am unconvinced. But back to your issue at hand, I had some acne problems around my early teens thru twenties. From the time I was in 6th or 7th grade I made a point to wash my face every morning and night. My skin was so oily that the best thing that worked for me was good ol' ivory soap which I am told now is the worst possible thing you could put on your skin. I have great skin now that I am in in my forties! So go figure. I also tried to back off sweets and fried foods for healthier food and drink lots of water. Getting regular facials is not only luxurious, but you can learn a lot from an esthetician. They know the correct way to remove blackheads and such without damaging skin or aggravating blemishes. One esthetician would rub or pat baby powder on my face if it was extremely oily or I had breakouts. The powder would soak up the excess moisture and dry out the blemishes almost overnight. It also soothed the redness. If I wasn't going anywhere I would just leave it on my face until I washed it that night. I got to where I mixed it with my tinted face powder so I could use it daily to help balance the oil. I know Mary Kay is a very gentle brand of cosmetic and skincare. Beauticontrol and Nu Skin also have some excellent products to help with acne. Obagi is a pharmaceutical grade skincare line that is only prescribed by doctors. My internist has it available in her office and many of her nurses use it and swear by its benefits and results. I hope this helps! I know how physically and emotionally painful acne can be.
A.

M.B.

answers from Beaumont on

Both of my daughters were the same way and it is at such a crucial time during Jr High that it is hard on their self esteem.
As soon as they started their periods I brought them to my gyno dr and put them on low dose birth control pills which I tell them is for their acne and it completely and beautifully clears up their faces. Ortho tri cyclen I think is the name. Do not let them talk you into Yasmin it is bad.
People worry about this but believe me it is better than accutain or being on low dose antibiotics for years that don't work. We had tried everything.

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A.L.

answers from Austin on

Your allergy mention made me wonder: what is she using on her hair? I had something similar when I was about the same age - I had just gotten a perm. She might be reacting to whatever she is putting in her hair.

Also, I've found that moisturizing helps the body acne a lot. I have naturally super-dry skin, and my body's defense against that is to close the pores. I had read that moisturizing would help, but I thought that oils on/in the skin were causing the acne - but I tried moisturizing, anyway, and I wish I had known about this trick 15 years earlier! If you can find a light daily moisturizer, that might help.

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J.T.

answers from Killeen on

H., I have the same issue for my 15 and 12 yr old girls, we use Arbonne International's Clear Advantage. The wash and toner work great and they have a oral herbal supplement that is safe and works miracles on backs! I did notice though, if my 15 yr old only washed and toned, she would still break out, but when she started the supplement, she has cleared up everywhere!! If you would like the number to my consultant you can email me [email protected]____.com They also have a 45 day money back guarantee so if it doesn't work, you can get your money back.

After reading some of the other posts.....their products are all botanical, safe and are hypo-allergenic.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

I would consider changing her shampoo and conditioner. Some break me out terribly. I use Suave clarifying shampoo and Pantene conditioner. If her hair is on her face, shampoo/conditioners can break her out. I would also change her body soap. Detergents and softeners used in your laundry can also break her out. Last, and this will sound strange but I am VERY allergic to some toothpastes. I would get big, sore pimples on my cheeks and chin. The dermatologist said to switch toothpaste and it worked!! Still to this day, and I am in my 40s, I can NOT use Crest or Colgate. I can use Close-up or Aquafresh. I know it is strange but my derm said some people are allergic to toothpaste.
Good luck. I know you have received lots of great advice.

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G.G.

answers from Austin on

First of all, if it could be related to getting sweaty and not washing/exfoliating right away. If this is not the case, and you can afford it, take her to a dermatologist and get something topical. She'll most likely see results from a prescription. However, if Proactive didn't work, this could likely be hormone related and only the oral meds work for this. I would imagine you don't want to "go there" but maybe birth control pills would help stabilize the hormones. Topical creams and washes do not help hormone related acne. As much as I love many all natural products, my adult acne med is one thing I'm not willing to give up. It's probably horrible for me but I'm natural with everything else I expose my body too.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

she needs to go to a doctor. i would take her to an allergy doctor first. or even try a homeopathy store. she might be having an allergic reaction to the soaps or proactive which are causing it to be worse. those with allergies often have sensitive skin.

A.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Tea Tree Oil...once in the morning and once before bed....

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B.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Sounds like you're already getting great advice. Something else to consider, change her pillow case nightly. My cousin had bad acne. My aunt bought him a new (read: clean) pillow and then picked up 7-10 extra pillow cases (you can get them cheap at discount stores). It helped clear up his face, along with the cleansers, not sure about meds, because he wasn't sleeping on a dirty pillowcase. It's worth trying it out along with her twice daily washing.

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D.F.

answers from Austin on

Washing too much could actually make it worse!! Bad allergies could definitely have relevance. I would go to a naturopath first. They will look from the inside out instead of the outside in like typical MDs. See if you can eliminate any offenders from her diet. I know that when I eat too much sugar or wheat, I definitely have break outs. Good luck!!

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L.G.

answers from Austin on

I agree with going to a naturopathic doctor. It sounds like she might need a detox to get all the crud out of her system that you have been using to treat her. A dermatologist will just give more drugs and creams, etc.

It is worth the expense since the naturopathic doctor will try and figure out what is causing the acne, not just give more stuff to treat it. Your daughter will thank you!

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J.B.

answers from Detroit on

Arbonne's Clear Advantage are both great. Botanically based, All Natural, Hypoallergenic, safe and both are non drying. I have several clients that tried dermatologist meds, Proactive and anything they could find and they love Clear Advantage. I can give you my web site and contact info in a PM. I know how embarrassaing this is for anyone at any age but it is especially difficult for teens. I also recommend one of our shampoos as well. Everything you put on your hair gets on your face and body too.

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J.T.

answers from Austin on

Try Mary Kay's acne treatment gel. It contains a peroxide solution that dries up the pimple. You only put it on the pimple, not anywhere else so you don't have to worry about the entire face looking/being dried out. I swear by it and have referred other teenagers to it who have appreciated it later.

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H.P.

answers from Houston on

If you have not tried the Velocity facial cleanser and facial moisturizer, along with the acne treatment gel from Mary Kay they are fabulous products. My bestfriend's daughter just turned 12 and has been fighting acne as well and the products have worked miracles for her and she has recommended the products to her friends at school. She has severe allergies and the products are very gentle and she has had no reaction to the products. My son also uses the products to help control any break outs. He uses the facial cleanser on his back to help the acne that he get on it. I hope this is helpful information for you.

I wanted to also share with you that my mother is a devoted Mary Kay user, so when I was going through my time with acne I used their products as well. If you are interested in trying these products and don't have or know of a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant I would love to hear from you. I am a beauty consultant. I want you to know that I did not answer to get business, but I truly believe in our products and have seen first hand how they work and yet stay gentle to the skin.

If you have further questions for me please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com.

H. P

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N.H.

answers from Austin on

Have you tried avon or mary kay products? While mary kay is rediculously expensive, it can help b/c they do have good products. I've heard that avon products are good too but haven't used any of their cleanser type products though. As far as foods, I would suggest to make sure she's not eating anything 'fatty' or 'greasy' or 'junk foods'. Drink water or flavored water, not soda. What a person eats and/or drinks can have a profound effect on what your skin does. Also, try showering & shampooing hair at night. Dirt & 'oils' from the day can transfer onto sheets & pillow cases too. Hope this suggestion helps! If not, you may hafta visit a dermatologist to see what can be done to help. Good luck!

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