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11-year old with acne


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#1 Guest_Ellenc45_*

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:10 PM

I am posting my 11-year old daughter's pic here in hopes that someone can give me some sound advice on what to do for her. I believe she has closed comedones and milia. I'm not really sure, but I've been kicking butt researching all this and reading all the forums. I have tried doxycyline, differen, clearisil daily wash for sensitive skin (ouch, that made it worse), benziclear, sulfur soap, and now after taking her to a skin specialist, she had her bumps extracted (not all, there were too many), she is using a product called PCA Smoothing Toner and using sulfur soap. The PCA has water/aqua/eau/lactic acid, citric acid, aloe barbadensis, leaf juice. When she uses the toner, she says it stings for a minute and her acne looks worse and she seems to have broken out with more bumps. I'm hoping this toner is "purging" her bumps? The lady I took her to told me to come back and she would give me a sample of some gel to help with inflammation, which it looks like now. Mostly she has had just the bumps at the surface, never to fully develop into a pimple and it also looks like milia to me. All the bumps are different sizes. I believe a few are just the hormal thing going on. Again, I'm not sure. She's only eleven, but has had this problem for a while, it's just gotten worse in the past year. I've also taken her off dairy products, but it didn't seem to change anything. Any suggestions as to what products to use. I'm going back to the skin ethetisian(sp) to get the gel to see if that helps. The sulfur soap seems useless.

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#2 sanasa

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:30 PM

I can't see the pic but you should take her to an experienced aesthetician (sp?) who specializes in acne. an acne clinic. the products on the market today destroy the natural ways of the skin etc..

#3 dis

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:31 PM

If I found out when I was 11 that my mom was posting pics of me on an acne website, I think I'd lose my mind.

#4 Guest_Ellenc45_*

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:43 PM

QUOTE(dis @ Sep 23 2007, 12:31 AM) View Post
If I found out when I was 11 that my mom was posting pics of me on an acne website, I think I'd lose my mind.

You can't see her face and I need some answers in order to help her. She doesn't know and I'm not telling her!

QUOTE(dis @ Sep 23 2007, 12:31 AM) View Post
If I found out when I was 11 that my mom was posting pics of me on an acne website, I think I'd lose my mind.
What I meant to say is you can only see her forehead. That's where the problem is. I'd never embarrass her. Whew! It's late....


QUOTE(Ellenc45 @ Sep 23 2007, 12:10 AM) View Post
I am posting my 11-year old daughter's pic here in hopes that someone can give me some sound advice on what to do for her. I believe she has closed comedones and milia. I'm not really sure, but I've been kicking butt researching all this and reading all the forums. I have tried doxycyline, differen, clearisil daily wash for sensitive skin (ouch, that made it worse), benziclear, sulfur soap, and now after taking her to a skin specialist, she had her bumps extracted (not all, there were too many), she is using a product called PCA Smoothing Toner and using sulfur soap. The PCA has water/aqua/eau/lactic acid, citric acid, aloe barbadensis, leaf juice. When she uses the toner, she says it stings for a minute and her acne looks worse and she seems to have broken out with more bumps. I'm hoping this toner is "purging" her bumps? The lady I took her to told me to come back and she would give me a sample of some gel to help with inflammation, which it looks like now. Mostly she has had just the bumps at the surface, never to fully develop into a pimple and it also looks like milia to me. All the bumps are different sizes. I believe a few are just the hormal thing going on. Again, I'm not sure. She's only eleven, but has had this problem for a while, it's just gotten worse in the past year. I've also taken her off dairy products, but it didn't seem to change anything. Any suggestions as to what products to use. I'm going back to the skin ethetisian(sp) to get the gel to see if that helps. The sulfur soap seems useless.

It says the picture is awaing approval. Do you know how long that takes? You can only see her forehead, that is where the problem is. Like I said, I'd never embarrass her by showing her full face.

#5 poordaughterhasacne

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 11:46 PM

QUOTE(Ellenc45 @ Sep 22 2007, 10:10 PM) View Post
I am posting my 11-year old daughter's pic here in hopes that someone can give me some sound advice on what to do for her. I believe she has closed comedones and milia. I'm not really sure, but I've been kicking butt researching all this and reading all the forums. I have tried doxycyline, differen, clearisil daily wash for sensitive skin (ouch, that made it worse), benziclear, sulfur soap, and now after taking her to a skin specialist, she had her bumps extracted (not all, there were too many), she is using a product called PCA Smoothing Toner and using sulfur soap. The PCA has water/aqua/eau/lactic acid, citric acid, aloe barbadensis, leaf juice. When she uses the toner, she says it stings for a minute and her acne looks worse and she seems to have broken out with more bumps. I'm hoping this toner is "purging" her bumps? The lady I took her to told me to come back and she would give me a sample of some gel to help with inflammation, which it looks like now. Mostly she has had just the bumps at the surface, never to fully develop into a pimple and it also looks like milia to me. All the bumps are different sizes. I believe a few are just the hormal thing going on. Again, I'm not sure. She's only eleven, but has had this problem for a while, it's just gotten worse in the past year. I've also taken her off dairy products, but it didn't seem to change anything. Any suggestions as to what products to use. I'm going back to the skin ethetisian(sp) to get the gel to see if that helps. The sulfur soap seems useless.

my daughter had the closed comedones real bad on her forehead whan she was 11. Her pediatrician prescribed her benzoyl peroxide 5% and it went away. But it came back again when she got older and she still has non inflamed acne to this day. Good luck.

#6 BabsDancer

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:49 AM

That's about the age that I started getting acne. I am 20 now and on accutane...so far it is going great!! If I could start all over again, I would have done accutane when I was 13 years old. I tried everything. All the topicals (retin-a, differin, proactiv, etc.), antibiotics, a face peel (which did nothing but burn the heck out of my skin!), and everything else! I never had severe acne (mostly mild/moderate), but the emotional pain that acne caused me was severe. My parents were too scared to put me on such a harsh drug, but it is working wonders on my skin, and I wish I could go back in time to take accutane sooner.

I don't think you should put your daughter on accutane until you know nothing else will work for her. And even then, make sure you research the drug and know about the side effects to see if your daughter thinks it is worth it. It was definitely worth it for me! And it has healed many ppl that are members of this site! My cousin also took accutane when he was 13 years old, and has been completely clear for 15 years!!

As far as topical medications go, nothing really helped me except for Proactiv. It worked great for me for a while, and then my acne came back. Another thing that helped me for a couple of years was birth control. But of course, my acne came back.

Good luck with everything! Please do some research on accutane! smile.gif

#7 Wynne

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:58 AM

Hi. You guys have gone to a dermatologist, too? What has the derm most recently recommended and how long did you two try it? Most acne medications take several months before one can truly guage their effectiveness.

A gentle cleanser and warm water would help, too. Harsh cleansers do tend to irritate the skin. Hot water is not good for anyone's skin. Warm water is much better and cleans just as well.

Please make sure you reinforce to her how important it is not to pick at her skin.

I'd recommend some gentle mechanical exfoliation. You can easily pick up an electric toothbrush with a spinning head and use that with a sensitive skin cleanser and gently exfoliate the whole face.

#8 BabsDancer

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 01:05 AM

oh and Wynne makes a GREAT point about not picking at your skin!! Make sure she keeps her hands away! haha, I'm still trying to do that myself. But honestly, she could end up making it a lot worse if she picks at it all the time.

#9 Enlightened

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 08:37 AM

Get your daughter to drink adequate water and put her on multi vitamins for kids. Also, has she started puberty? It might be worthwhile her taking omega 3 capsules to control hormone levels, evening primrose and starflower oil. The treatment you described seems to contain AHAs both lactic acid and citric acid. I would Suggest a cleanser with salicylic acid rather than the toner, it may be too harsh on her skin, she is only young. The toner will make skin sensitive to the sun be so will salicylic acid so use a non-greasy sun-cream.

#10 Rikke

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:28 AM

Her acne isn't that bad - though, it COULD go worse.

I think my acne started like that, when I was about 11 or 12, and I know hos frustrating and hard it must be for her.

Take her to see some experinced expert. Make sure she gets enough zinc, B- and A-vitamins, and make her drink a lot of lukewarm water (it's good if you boil it first, then let it cool.)

If she wears make-up (I didn't at that age), get something that won't clog her pores. (Check acne.org's make-up board.)

Ehrm... Can't think of much more right now.
But good luck with it, and I hope she/you get rid of that nasty stuff, before it takes over smile.gif

#11 notadoctor

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:49 AM

After hearing all of the things that you have tried and have not worked I would consider a different diagnosis. There are things that look like acne but are not actually acne. Some types of folliculitis can look like acne and even coexist with acne but still are treated differently.

You should take her to a dermatologist and have them biopsy some of her papules ("acne" bumps). They might find that it is not actually acne. Here is a link to a study that shows that acne is not alway just acne and can sometimes overlap with Pityrosporum Folliculitis, which requires a different approach to treatment and antibiotics can make it worse.

http://archpedi.ama-...159/1/64?ck=nck

#12 willow569

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:58 AM

The esthetician you have been going to - do you know how experienced she is at treating acne? Its important to know that, as there is a wide range of experience levels across estheticians. A good esthetician can do wonders with acne (mine does), but someone inexperienced may do more harm than good. What kind of clinic is it? Is it a day spa or and acne clinic? How long did she stay on the medications that the derm prescribed? It can take 2-3 months to start seeing results from acne medications.

I haven't heard of that toner before, so I can't really comment on it. The ingredients look ok, but it sounds like it may be irritating her skin? The sulfur soap may be kind of harsh too. Sulfur isn't used very frequently to treat acne anymore (it used to be, until more effective treatments were developed) - it makes a decent spot treat for pimples, but it seems like the soap could be drying and irritating.

Has she ever tried a prescription brand benzoyl peroxide?

#13 Guest_Ellenc45_*

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE(notadoctor @ Sep 23 2007, 10:49 AM) View Post
After hearing all of the things that you have tried and have not worked I would consider a different diagnosis. There are things that look like acne but are not actually acne. Some types of folliculitis can look like acne and even coexist with acne but still are treated differently.

You should take her to a dermatologist and have them biopsy some of her papules ("acne" bumps). They might find that it is not actually acne. Here is a link to a study that shows that acne is not alway just acne and can sometimes overlap with Pityrosporum Folliculitis, which requires a different approach to treatment and antibiotics can make it worse.

http://archpedi.ama-...159/1/64?ck=nck

Hi and thank you all for your advice. The derm gave her benziclear and she tried that for two weeks, and the differen I didn't try over a week because it changed the pigmentation of her skin, her skin looked blotchy, the doxycyline I tried for almost two weeks because I was hestitant on putting her on that anyway because she is so young. I guess I didn't see immediate results and took her off of it. We did try Proactive one time and it did help, but it never cleared her up entirely, but it did control it to a point. I have thought about allergies. The ethetician(sp) did say I might consider allergies. She is allergic (fatal) allergic to tree nuts. She is also allergic to potatoes and soy, but not to the point of having to use her epipen. She suggested putting her on a gluten free diet. Her shoulders and chest break out too exactly where her hair hits, so I put her on Giovanna shampoo and conditioner, and that looks better. The breakouts look a lot worse than the picture shows, (not a good photograher at all)! Her breakouts look much better during the winter, though....? I believe I may take her back to the derm, as you suggested and have her take a biopsy of one of the papules, I didn't realize they could do that. I do know that she is close to starting her cycle for the first time, but this started when she was eight with just a few bumps here and there and I told her then to keep her face clean and didn't worry about it too much, but this past year it just tripled in breakouts. Your right, though, since she started using the toner and sulfur soap, it seems worse. Thanks for your suggestion.

#14 Enlightened

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 04:28 PM

You know at eight your hormones are balanced and since she is eleven and not yet hit puberty, i really doubt this is acne. It looks and sounds more like an allergic reaction. Is her skin generally oily? Does she only breakout on her forehead and the areas her hair rests on? Try washing her hair with only water for a while. Has she had a complete allergy examination? And try everything for at least a month because our skin takes 28 days to completely renew itself so you wont see much difference in a week of two.

#15 willow569

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 05:04 PM

If you take her back to the derm and he/she gives you a new prescription, give it more than a couple weeks to work. It can take acne medications anywhere from 2-3 months to start showing effects. If you only keep her on each medication for such short periods of time, you will never know what works for her and what doesn't. Unfortunately, acne does not clear overnight, or even in a couple of weeks. It takes pimples 1-2 months to fully form (from the initial clogged pore to the inflamed pimple), so it takes at least 2 months to get any exisiting acne cleared out. And there can also be some negative side effects in the beginning - dryness, peeling, flare-ups of acne.

#16 Guest_Ellenc45_*

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:26 PM

QUOTE(Lets-Beat-It-Together @ Sep 23 2007, 05:28 PM) View Post
You know at eight your hormones are balanced and since she is eleven and not yet hit puberty, i really doubt this is acne. It looks and sounds more like an allergic reaction. Is her skin generally oily? Does she only breakout on her forehead and the areas her hair rests on? Try washing her hair with only water for a while. Has she had a complete allergy examination? And try everything for at least a month because our skin takes 28 days to completely renew itself so you wont see much difference in a week of two.

I have questioned whether it's allergy related. I have had her tested because she is very allergic to tree nuts and the last time she was tested she was allergic to potatoes and soy. I am going to take her back to the derm and ask for them to do a biopsy on one of her bumps to see whether it is allergy related. I didn't realize they could do that until someone here on the forum told me. She does break out in all the places her hair touches, but what is wierd is that her hair doesn't touch her forehead. She just started breaking out where her hair touches this year, before that it was just her forehead and nowhere else. I will definitely try longer on a given product than two weeks. I would have thought I'd see a little difference in that length of time if it was going to work, but I guess I was wrong. I've learned so much on the forum. I changed her tonight over to Cetaphil to clean her face with, instead of the sulfur soap. She has been on the sulfur soap for at least three weeks and it hasn't improved her skin. Someone here on the forum said that sulfur soap really isn't used that much anymore for acne because of newer items on the market and can sometimes be a little harsh on the skin. So, I thought I would keep her on the Cetaphil and the same PCA Smoothing Toner longer. She's been on that for a little over a week. Some of the closed bumps have turned into tiny white pimples, but hasn't dissappeared and her skin looks a little irritated. The skin ethestician(sp) told me to come by and pick up some gel that will keep inflammation down. Could the toner be purging her closed comedones? Shouldn't the pimples, once they form and pop, go away? Thanks

#17 Enlightened

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:04 PM

When my second baby was small i used shampoo on his hair and his forehead broke out in little bump as soon as i started using only water it cleared. The reason i asked if it is only her forehead that breaks out is because shampoo and other hair products reach the forehead. Is her scalp itchy? What products do you use on her hair? Styling products? Hairpray? Hair gel? If so try cutting these out for a while and only use water. Also, if her skin is irritated at the moment try using the toner only at night. Poor little thing, i really hope it clears! Good luck.

#18 Fox

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 03:24 PM

Age 11 is the time that many girls start puberty (just because she hasn't had her period doesn't mean she isn't going through puberty). I got my period at 12, but had been breaking out since I was 10. Please don't tell your daughter to stop using shampoo, that will only contribute to greasy hair which will possibly aggravate her condition. Just keep her hair off her forehead.

Although you may be reluctant for her to take drugs, sometimes topical preparations just aren't enough to deal with all acne and she may need medicine to "kick-start" her skin. After a month or 2 of topical medicines, ask your dermotologist about antibiotics or Accutane. While expensive, they may save money and grief over the long term.

I went on Accutane when I was 12 (I stopped because I was too shy to talk about birthcontrol with the derm) and again when I was about 15 and enjoyed acne-free skin for several years. Unfortunately, it eventually came back, but mine is hereditary and it's still not very severe, just annoying.
Accutane was the only treatment which cleared up my bacne, so you may want to consider this option if your daughter's is really troubling her.

BTW, my mother is a physician and had no qualms about putting me or my 2 brothers on Accutane. She didn't get the opportunity to go on it until her mid- 30s and had scarring as a result. While we still get minor breakouts, my brothers and I were saved from scarring due to early intervention. That may be something to think about.

#19 geneva10

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 06:23 PM

Another route you could go would be getting her hormone levels tested? Sometimes severe acne can be attributed to endocrine/hormonal disorders. That's why my acne started, and I'm seeing an Endocrinologist now.

Just a thought. I really hope you are able to find a successful treatment.

#20 notadoctor

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 06:25 PM

QUOTE(Fox @ Sep 24 2007, 04:24 PM) View Post
Age 11 is the time that many girls start puberty (just because she hasn't had her period doesn't mean she isn't going through puberty). I got my period at 12, but had been breaking out since I was 10. Please don't tell your daughter to stop using shampoo, that will only contribute to greasy hair which will possibly aggravate her condition. Just keep her hair off her forehead.

Although you may be reluctant for her to take drugs, sometimes topical preparations just aren't enough to deal with all acne and she may need medicine to "kick-start" her skin. After a month or 2 of topical medicines, ask your dermotologist about antibiotics or Accutane. While expensive, they may save money and grief over the long term.

I went on Accutane when I was 12 (I stopped because I was too shy to talk about birthcontrol with the derm) and again when I was about 15 and enjoyed acne-free skin for several years. Unfortunately, it eventually came back, but mine is hereditary and it's still not very severe, just annoying.
Accutane was the only treatment which cleared up my bacne, so you may want to consider this option if your daughter's is really troubling her.

BTW, my mother is a physician and had no qualms about putting me or my 2 brothers on Accutane. She didn't get the opportunity to go on it until her mid- 30s and had scarring as a result. While we still get minor breakouts, my brothers and I were saved from scarring due to early intervention. That may be something to think about.


I agree with everything said here. Just to make sure, have the doctor biopsy one of the papules. If it comes back as normal run-of-the-mill acne, then definitely keep everything said here in mind. Age 11, is kind of early to start accutane, and I am not sure a doctor would do it, but it is always there as a last resort, after other treatments have failed.