Teen with Acne

Updated on November 09, 2008
C.D. asks from Youngsville, LA
40 answers

My grandson is 15 years old soon to be 16 and he has a lot of breakouts. I have tried using nutrengena soap and proactiv. The soap doesn't seem to work and the proactiv is too time consuming for him. He has a very busy schedule, he practices 5 days a week for football and cross country. He ususally gets home around 7:00 on three of the days and 10:00 - 12:00 on the other three days as they have games. Saturdays he has cross country meets, so Sunday is the only day he has free. He is an A student, so when he is home he is doing homework and trying to help with the other 6 grandkids. He must get the acne from his fathers side as my side of the family did not have many breakouts.
I need something that works and preferably one step as it is very hard for him to do the 3 steps with the proactiv. When he was using the proactiv it didn't seem to work.
Bottom line, very easy, works well and not too expensive as you read above that there are 7 grandkids.

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J.B.

answers from Florence on

I actually went to the dermatologist when i was a teen and they prescribed me this facewash with benzoyl peroxide that worked wonders. Fortunately, you can buy a face wash with benzoyl peroxide over the counter that is much cheaper. It is just has a lesser amount of the stuff. The kind I bought at the store was Neutrogena, I think. Anyway, it could be used as a face wash or a mask for a deep clean. I just used it day and night, and it helped.

also, something they told me at the doctor was that it often gets worse before it gets better. Maybe that was the problem with the Proactiv. He didn't do it long enough.

oh! I found a link to the stuff I used. http://www.drugstore.com/qxp76497_334918_sespider/neutrog... that way you'll know what it looks like.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.S.

answers from Jackson on

A friend of mine had acne into adulthood. He tried everything on the market. Even proactiv. His doctor finally told him to just wash his face with a hot wash cloth. It seems to have worked wonderfully for him. I myself have tried this method after days of no make up and it seems to have helped me as well. The heat of the water opens up the pores and the scrubbing of the cloth gets out dirt and oil. Hope this helps.

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S.F.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi C.! When I was a teenager the ONLY thing that worked for me is Acutane. It is a pill you take once a day for a while. You don't have to take it forever as it keeps working even after you take it.
Go to a dermotologist, they will help. I don't know of anything that will work as a one-time thing.
Good luck!

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M.D.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I helped my fifteen year old nephew this summer with the same problem. I use only Clearly Natural soap- it is unscented, pure glycerin soap,( you can order it though the mail) and All Sensitive Skin detergent, Downy Sensitive fabric softener.What did the trick however was my HYDRODERM age/wrinkle serum. It is made by the same people who make pro-active,I believe. but you only put a tiny drop on your finger and rub it on your whole face. A little bottle should last a few months. My nephew had also tried pro-active and gone to the dermatologist without much success after lots of prescriptions and creams. Two weeks of using that little drop and his face is clear and stayed clear. My skin is gorgeous (I'm 55 and definitely do not look it) I hope you have success. Hydroderm is also ordered online.

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K.S.

answers from Fayetteville on

The best thing we have found is Dial Soap (the cheap gold bar). If your grandson will lather his face with it, and let it sit there a couple of minutes, then rinse, it will make a huge difference. A dermatologist's assistant told us about it, and it worked well.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.S.

answers from Jackson on

Dear C.,
My brother had horrible acne and he went to the dermetologist and they prescribed him Retin-A. It is a clear solution in a tube that he put on his face after he got out of the shower. His acne completely cleared up and he has no scarring on his face.

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K.H.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi C.,

This may not be the cheapest route but it will work. Being as your grandson is 15 and very active no amount of washing is going to clear up a serious case of acne. His hormones are going crazy right now and the only thing that will work is a western medicine intervention. Take him to the dematologist and have him put on Retin-A or Accutane. Every male in my family (mother's side) had really terrible acne at some point and tried everything. It wasn't until my Aunt brought one of my cousins to the dermatologist that it got better. Within a very short time his skin was totally clear and he had no scars. Needless to say all my other boy cousins went to the dermatologist as well and got their prescriptions. It really does work and will save him so much grief. Kids can be really cruel and to save him from a lot of teasing will do a ton for his self esteem.

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K.C.

answers from New Orleans on

This is going to sound horrible, but the only thing that ever cleared up my acne was a hand soap for mechanics named "Fast Orange". You can get it at auto parts stores and it is cheap because you get a huge bottle. It has a heavy pumice, so you can't scrub or it will scratch too much. I would let it sit on my face in the shower until it started to burn and then rub gently to remove. It also cleard my husband's back when I finally got him to try it. It is designed to get all of the oil and grease off of your hands after working on engines, and believe me, it gets rid of oil alright...all out of the pores. I discovered it when I had to work on my own car (VW Bug) and was upset that my hands were dirty, then I used it on my face out of desperation. It really makes a difference. Tell him not to put it on the tender skin around eyes. I hope this helps.
~K.

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J.S.

answers from Enid on

arbonne! our pediatrician recommends it too.

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C.G.

answers from Huntsville on

Hi C.,
Wow-7! I admire you for assuming this role in your life. I had a baby at 38 and it's a challenge when most Moms w/ a child her age are at Least 10 yrs younger...Kudos to you for going around again :-).
I would reccommend that you get him some Buff Puffs-they are little scrubbers that have acne soap in them already (if you get the ones for oily skin) then when he gets out of the shower (he can use them while he showers at home-if he's like a lot of teenage boys he will want to shower 2xs/day anyway ;-). After he gets our of the shower he should use Clearasyl Maximum strength just on the pimples.
I'd use the vanishing but my hubby says the 'cover' kind is ok too.
You can get some acne wash and get him to use it on the b.p. after the soap is gone. I use B.P.'s and it takes me about 5 showers to use up the soap. (I'm 41 and still have acne :-P) I keep some store brand acne wash in the shower and after the soap is gone from the puff I just wet it and squirt the soap on, lather up and wait. I wet my hair and while my face is "soaking" I lather my hair w/ shampoo (something that lets the acne stuff sit-the directions say you are supposed to wash your face for 30 seconds w/ your hands w/ the acne wash so....;-).
After I get out of the shower I put the Clearasil on breakouts and then I use Neutrogena Moisturizer-it has no oil/hypoallergenic and noncomedigenic (sp?)...anyway. Your boy should be happy he doesn't have to contend with make up on top of all that!! :-D. Hopefully he won't be doing this at my age!
Sorry-point= the outlay for the Buff Puffs, Acne Wash, Clearasil is probably going to be about 12-14 dollars but if he's the only one using it it should last for several months (more cost effective than ProActive).
Plus it's a 2 step process :-) the first of which he can do in the shower!
Also-you should make sure he changes his pillow case at least 2x's/week And that he washes his face (wherever he is breaking out) immediately after practice/game. Sweat and oil left on the skin-or rubbed back in from the night before will enhance breakouts.
I haven't thought about that mechanics stuff, that might be worth looking into from another suggestion-but I'd be Careful if your boy has sensitive skin-the chemicals in it might cause him to have a rash and that would only exasserbate the situation.
We might try that Orange stuff b/c My hubby does all the maintenance on our home/cars so he Needs it and I could use it some too.. :-)
I hope this helps and once again my admiration for your job! :-)
Good Luck!
C. G

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S.P.

answers from Birmingham on

Proactive never worked for us either. Also make certain he isn't scrubbing his face too much. Gently wash the face 2 times per day, every morning and before bed. You can buy a pump dispenser of face cleanser (Clean & Clear or Neutrogena work well) with salicylic acid in it and that makes it easy and quick to have in the shower and/or by the sink for quick facewashing. Follow up with cleansing medicated face pads, Oxy Daily Face Pads work really well for us. But by all means, teens can see their faces in the mirror and there is no need to call more attention to it than just providing them with the cleansers with a brief instruction "use both of these twice per day, morning and before bed - wash first and then use the pad." It's up to them after that point and hope it works. Acne can really affect confidence and it sounds like he's just really working out a lot and sweating. That alone would increase the problem on top of being a teen. You might want to talk to the pediatrician for some antibiotics by mouth that could also help. Call the nurse in the office to see what they recommend. Going to a dermatologist will probably be too costly and take too long. There's not much they can do that you can't do from home.

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F.N.

answers from Oklahoma City on

You can get mud masks at any store, even Dollar General and Family Dollar. They take the swelling and redness down. It also reduces the amount of time the breakout lasts. Works fast, is cheap and only takes about 20 minutes for it to dry. Wash it off and it's done. You can repeat as needed, even just before bed.

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E.T.

answers from Birmingham on

Differin has worked well for me, and health insurance will usually cover. You get it as a prescription. I got it from my dermatologist, but you may be able to get it from the pediatrician, too.
Good luck, and God Bless you for taking care of your grandchildren. I work for AL Baptist Children's Homes, and we do foster care, so I understand how important you are to your grandkids.

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J.F.

answers from Birmingham on

I am a Mary Kay consultant and we have a great product for teens called Velocity. It has a cleanser($10) and light weight moisturizer with no oil($12). There have been great result with this and acne. I am in Pinson, AL but can mail it to you or you can find a local MK consultnat if you go to www.marykay.com. I hope this is helpful and God bless you as you raise these grandchildren!!!
J. Fisher

E.R.

answers from Huntsville on

tea tree oil you can get it at walmart good for all kinds of stuff but for breakouts it heals faster and reduces the redness I read I use it and it works well just put a little on a cotton ball and rub on where ever you need it does have a stong smell but it is good for you

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J.C.

answers from Hattiesburg on

okay, this is going to sound overly simple, but it has worked for me and my child. Use plain old regular Dove bar soap to wash his face at twice a day (morning and night) Do not use lotion unless his face is really dry, in that case use a non-greasy lotion, Nivia is great, and no perfumes so your grandson will use it.
This was actually recommended to me to use on my little girl when she was an infant and had really bad infant acne - it worked so well I started doing it for myself. I've always had really, really bad acne. Now I only get the occasional breakout, and as long as I remember to wash my face twice a day with this, I stay relatively acne free.

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A.J.

answers from Baton Rouge on

If you are unable to control it after trying what is suggest here, or what is avaialable on search - acne - you may wish to write a letter to Dr. Gott with a self enclosed posted envelope.

My wife for years sufferred with leg cramps and one of his columns said to place a bar of soap between her legs. Since it did not specify I used Dial Soap. I used it for three months and the cramps were gone. After several, maybe 8 or more she complained again and I put another bar of Dial between her legs. After three weeks it was gone again. That was over a year ago.

Dr Gott never specified why it worked, but I have to say it worked very well for her.

You may want to write Dr. Gott any way!

God Bless and pray all goes well for your son

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S.C.

answers from Little Rock on

I hate to say you are probably not going to clear it up with just one step. He will need a good face wash and then put the treatment on.If he is doing sports and sweating he has to wash his face when he gets home. If he has longer hair like a lot of the teenagers the oils from his hair will break his face out. It takes about a month of using a product (that is good)to work. Can he use the proactiv wash and treatment and skip the toner if your kit has a toner? If your kit comes with the mask it really helps when you use it a few times a week.He needs to drink a lot of water.If nothing else your family doctor could give him a perscription.I had acne from teenager years to adult years now I am helping my son deal with it.It is painful to see them go through it.I have to remind my son he has to wash his face at night and his hair and keep his pillow case clean.Teenagers like to go to bed when they get home and shower in the morning.

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J.H.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi Cindy, the best way to treat it is to battle at the source. I've dealt with acne all my life - from the time I was 6, I am 35 now. I have found that most of it is from food allergies and additives (mostly MSG, its in almost everything we eat). I cut out all processed foods and it does seem to help. I feel a lot better, have more energy, and my allergies arent so bothersome anymore.

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J.J.

answers from Tulsa on

C.,
Hello. What a great job you're doing caring for 7 grandchildren. I haven't had a chance to read all the responses, just read a few. Keep in mind everyone's skin is different. And lots of Mom's recommend seeing a demonologist, which can be helpful. However, after years of seeing one and my skin changing about every six months and the expensive products not working (would for a short while), I finally asked him what I could use that's over the counter. He recommended Cytaphil or maybe spelled Cetaphil (can be bought at Wal-Mart and a little goes a long way). The most important thing I've learned is I need oil-free products - Biore makes a good oil-free acne line (which I know Target sells). And I can't use all the steps in ANY system at the same time (and I've tried most - the consultants always say you have to do them all and not to ever mix brands, but my skin has negative reactions, so I've had to come up with my own system that works for me). Therefore, I use a wash/cleanser (I now use Wexler's acne wash from Bath & Body Works) at night and some acne lotion (I do buy Arbonne acne lotion) and then in the morning I use a toner and some light lotion (which I feel I need the lotion in the morning in order for my makeup to go on smooth). So, I would personally start off trying something like a Cytaphil wash at night for him & maybe Biore oil-free acne lotion (if they make that) and then the Biore oil-free acne toner/astringent in the am. And then go. I think that's fairly simple (two steps at night & one in the morning) and pretty good prices compared to all the expensive options. My skin has done really well since I went to oil-free products. I hope this helps your grandson with his acne and not hurt your pocketbook too much. Best of luck.
~ J.

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J.L.

answers from Tulsa on

I dont wanna sound like a know it all- but i had a daughter and a son. My son had the acne problem. We tried averything out there. Even stuff from health food stores. I was making him take things and use things. Go straight to a dermatologist. I wish we did that right away. She did try the antibiotics first and a prescription gel/cream. It did a mild improvement. But with boys & hormones & the age he is ( same that mine was)he needs the big guns! His hormones will only increase and so will the oil & acne. Some boys just get the acne worse than others. Mine was starting to scar for life. Talk to the dermatologist about Accutane. Its the only thing that worked. For good. It has side effects- but it works. He didnt have that many side effects- mostly the drying out stuff. I was scared to put him on it- but ended up so glad I did. Expensive- but so was all those other things I kept buying that didnt work! Good luck. I hope this helps. It was sad when my son told me he used to be called pizza face.

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A.K.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi C.!
I used to be a Mary Kay consultant as well as a cosmetics manager at another company. The best product I found for an every day use is Mary Kay's Velocity cleanser. Have him use it morning and night. One other tip that most people don't think of but is very important and can make a big difference....change out his pillow case every night with a clean one. Night time when we're sleeping is when our skin sheds dead cells and oils that can cause acne. If you think about it, you're just lying right back down in the gross stuff that just came off your skin. So you're just rubbing it back into your face. Give those 2 things a try and you'll probably see a huge difference. If that doesn't take care of it in a couple of weeks, he may need to see a dermatologist for a prescription treatment.
Good luck!!
A. K

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H.A.

answers from Decatur on

Brew up some green tea. he dips a cotton swab in the tea and puts it on the areas and goes to bed. You can brew up a cup or so and keep in the frig.

H.

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R.N.

answers from Fayetteville on

Try Mary Kay - they have a product for teenagers (boys and girls) called Velocity. There is a cleanser and a moisturizer, but it is only one step to cleanse and one step to moisturize.

If you can get him past thinking that Mary Kay is for girls...I wold actually use the 3 in 1 cleanser for combination to oily skin - it works even better!!

Go to:

http://www.marykay.com/

At the top of the Home Page there is a link where it says shop online with an Independent Beauty Consultant today. (the words Independent Beauty Consultant are a link) - click that and it will take you to a page where you can search for a consultant in your area.

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L.B.

answers from Fayetteville on

With all of this exercise, it might not be a matter of which soap he uses, but how often he uses it. Does he wash his face directly after every practice and game?

Also, make sure he is eating a healthy diet and that he is not being exposed to toxins like chemical cleaners. Even if he is not the one doing the cleaning, the residues around the house might be enough to be causing his skin to want to push this stuff out. The result? Conditions like eczema and acne.

L.

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C.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hi C.,
My son had that same problem, and our family doc prescribed a very low dose antibiotic--can't think of the name of it, but seems like it was something-myacin. E-myacin, or something like that. It's a common treatment, though, and one of his friends was going to a dermatologist and had a drug from the same "drug family" prescribed. It was not expensive, as I recall, but we had insurance, too. Sometimes they can give you samples though. We have had GREAT luck with Dr. Dawkins here in Oklahoma City (dermatologist)and they've always been so kind and generous with their samples. Not sure where you live, but they are in NW OKC, and are in the phone book. Good luck--I know that it's a hard time for your grandson, and this will help his self esteem. It worked wonders for my son.
C.

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M.M.

answers from Enid on

I was just talking with one of my friends yesterday and she gave me this testimonial for Clay & Tea Tree Sudz:

"My son loves it and with all the sweating they do during football practice and the gear, it's certainly helping. Around his hairline and chin are his biggest problem areas due to the equipment even if we keep the gear clean. This house just can't seem to be without the clay sudz."

The Clay & Tea Tree sudz is WAY cheaper than Proactive and only one simple step. I use it, too, and my skin has never been better...the breakouts have been cut WAAAAY down and my skin looks better.

Get it at www.enidmg.com

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T.S.

answers from Little Rock on

Hi C.!

You don't say whether or not the breakouts are hugely affecting the entire face and neck or just sporadic areas. There are different levels of acne and ProActiv does work, but must be used consistently for over 21 days without fail. It takes the body that long to adjust to any changes, even in our regular facial regimens as females.

A remedy we used as teens was the Cuticura brand face soap. I'm not sure if its still available. It is a medicated soap. Another source is the use of liquid benzoyl peroxide washes that are over the counter.

The measures needed to be taken are a constant control of the oily T-Zone and his diet also. Fried and fatty foods are bad for acne prone teens. His diet can adversely affect his skin. If he's playing football and running cross country he will need the carbs necessary to perform. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, chicken, breads will help immensely. Dairy can aggravate some forms of acne as well.

There are sooo many factors involved in this.

His continued adherence to using the products may be his only solution. The next step is a Dermatologist and we don't have any here in Conway. You would have to make the leap to Little Rock.

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T.S.

answers from New Orleans on

Dear C.,
I don't really have any advise for the acne problem, except to make sure he washes his face at night and in the morning. I use diffrent acne face washes in the shower. I mainly just wanted to let you know that I admire you for taking in and raising 7 grandkids. Taking care of my two are tough enough. I'm sure those seven kids will appreciate you even more when they start to have kids of thier own. Kudos to you grandma! T.

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L.M.

answers from Jackson on

We had to put my daughter on hormones. Much better. He needs to wash his face several times a day. Also be sure to change his pillow case regularly daily, oil build up. If nothing works, Belle Meade Dermo clinic is great, they are on Lakeland in Flowood. I have been to a health food store for suppliments yet. Kids hormones are raging at this point, but if have wondered about the liver not doing its job, they tell me that after puberty the acne gets better. There is also acutane, last resort, but a mircale acne med. The FDA will not allow girls to take it without being on birth control, be cause of severe birth deformities. A regular General practitioner might help you with this. Hope it works. L.

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C.M.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi C.. I had a cousin who had very bad acne also and I suggested for her to use the Arbonne clear advantage. I sell Arbonne so I knew it would work great and it did! Within just a few days her skin had cleared up about 50%.(It usually takes about 2 weeks). Within 2 weeks her face was completely cleared up. She felt so much better about herself! It has a few steps, but I've never heard of anything for acne in a one step process (that works). He will just have to train himself to spend 45 sec. after brushing his teeth in the am and pm to wash his face. It doesn't take more than that. I know he would feel so much better about his appearance. If you have anymore questions please email or call me. My name is C. and my # is ###-###-####. I also want to say how great I think it is that you and your husband stepped up to the plate to help take care of your 7 grandchildren. May God bless you and your family!

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K.S.

answers from Decatur on

C., I suggest that get on a good regime of using a cleansing system. First of all his pillow case needs to be turned over and use a clean side every night. The company that I am affilated with has a great acne system that has a 45 day money back guarantee and it takes less than 2 minutes to do. If interested I will sell to you at my wholesale cost and depending where you live you might can even get for free. Give me a call K. ###-###-####

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J.R.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

Have you tried BareEscentuals? I am 27 and have dealt with breakouts since I was 18. I used EVERYTHING. I started using BE cleansers(2x daily) and a vitamin infused face cream (skin rever-upper 2x daily) along with a mineral based acne powder treatment once daily, and let me tell you, this stuff is magical. It is three steps, but it takes about 6 minutes for the entire process. They do not contain soap or oil. It is pricey, but it lasts a long time(I've had mine now for about 3 months and I am in no danger of running out)- and I would pay more than they charge for the confidence a clear face brings me.
No matter what treatments you use, if he is not consistent, then you won't see the best results.

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C.O.

answers from Birmingham on

Hi C.,
Wow! How fortunate they are to have you to keep them all together in a loving home.
I have a 14 year old who also has acne, mostly on her back.
We tried Arbonne products and also Proactive. I took her to see a dermotologist. She prescribed an oral antibiotic and some benzyl wash to cleanse with twice a day. With my insurance, the total cost of those 2 products were $25. She also prescribed an outrageously expensive topical cream that I declined because of cost. It's called Ziara gel. A tiny tube cost over $400 WITH my BCBS insurance! There are other products that work well out there that do not have that price tag, but I would recommend he sees a dermotologist to help choose the right ones. You do have to be patient with the treatment. It is not an overnight cure. My daughter's acne is under control now and the OTC products that we tried before seem to work well for maintenance. I do believe the oral antibiotics really helped for her type of acne. Good luck and God bless you all!

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L.H.

answers from Enid on

I had the same struggle all through highschool and college. If you can afford it, take him to a dermatologist. They can recommend the right cleansers and also prescribe medication. I highly recommend the Purpose face wash that other people have recommended (sold at Wal-Mart, Walgreens). Its sold in a pump with liquid soap. My dermatologist told me to use it 3 times a day. Most people think you should only wash twice a day. My dermatologist gave strict instructions to wash three times a day and to use Purpose oil free moisturizer (2 steps). If your grandson is oily enough, 3 times will help, not hurt. Maybe after school, before football would be a good time. Buy him an extra bottle to keep in his locker. The washing helped but wasn't enough for me and I eventually went on Accutane. It literrally changed my life but its very expensive. Good luck!

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A.A.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Hi,
I had severe acne when I was younger and my mom took me to the dermatologist. He recommended washing my face with Purpose soap (you can find this at Wal-Mart or any Pharmacy). Wash your face twice a day (morning and before bed). He also said to cut back on fried foods, chips, mayonnaise, and anything basically greasy. This tends to make you break out. And of course no chocolate. This did help. Also he recommended I drink eight glasses of water. Believe it or not, water clears your complexion. I do recommend going to the dermatologist but, if the money is not there, have him try these recommendations.

By the way I think you are wonderful raising your grandkids.

I adopted three children myself.

Sincerely,
A.

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M.H.

answers from Tulsa on

I personally use a product from a Melaleuca, a health and wellness company, called "Zap-It". It works very well and for less than $20 you can get a facial cleanser, an astringent, a cream and a 'quick stick' (apply medication in specific areas) and I was quite impressed with it. I use it morning and night and my skin is much better because of it.
You don't have to pay for high-dollar stuff off TV to have cleaner skin!

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L.F.

answers from Tulsa on

Uh, proactiv takes 5 minutes, he can do while brushing his teeth. I don't understand why he thinks it takes so long. He needs to take the time to wash his face twice a day, morning and night. I understand the time contraints, but it's only 5 minutes.

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V.S.

answers from Shreveport on

Hi C.,

My son had similar problems as your grandson. His skin seemed to be worse during football season. The sweat seemed to make him break out worse. Between practices and games, school and homework, he didn't have any spare time. :-)

I'm a Melaleuca customer and we ordered him the Zap-It! kit - there are 4 steps, but my son just used the Zap-It! Step 1 Facial Wash in the shower, and then when he needed it the Zap-It! Acne Treatment Cream. He carried the Step 4 Zap-It! Quick Stick in his pocket, to spot treat any zits that might try to pop up.

I tried to get him to use the other two steps, but he wouldn't or didn't take the time, and was able to get the acne under control with only periodically using Step 2 & 3.

If you'd like information about the Zap-it! Kit ($15.99) email me at [email protected]____.com

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R.F.

answers from Fayetteville on

the best thing I figured out to work on my teenage skin when I was playing sports was Noxema Cream and Oxy Pads, and an oil controlling moisturizer. If it was getting particularly bad I would use lye soap once a week, but I only had to do that a couple of times, and if you use it too much, it will make your skin peel, so no more than once a week. They have a great men's facial line from Gillette you could get the moisturizer from so he doesn't feel like he is using a "girls" product.

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