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Mom Of Teen With Acne Needs Advice

teen mom whiteheads

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#1 gingergirl22

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:45 AM

Hello! I have a 14 year old son who has been dealing with acne since 6th grade. It is getting worse as the years go on, and I am fearful that it will get really bad one day. My dad had it on his face and back was was scarred for life both physically and emotionally, my brother and I had it in our teens and 20s with scars that show it.

Anyway, there have been a few times when my son has asked for help with his acne so we've been to several dermatologists but nothing really worked. Now I think he has given up and denies he has a problem. He won't even wash his face. My dilemma is that he gets these big whiteheads and goes off to school with them. It kills me to know that he could get rid of those so easliy but he won't. He is afraid of needles so the needle method won't work even if I could get him interested.

So, my question to you is should I insist that he deal with these whiteheads or back off? If I can get him interested, is there a method that doesn't involve using a needle? Thanks.

#2 chunkylard

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:02 AM

Yes, there's a method of dealing with acne that involves no needles or pain. You shouldn't pop pimples anyway unless you want your son to be left with scars, which will do a whole lot more damage to his psyche and emotional state than a few whiteheads.

You should check out the nutrition board on this forum.
After suffering with acne since age 11, finally found my triggers 11 years later.
Clear for almost 1 year & in control of my acne, although due to some hyperpigmentation, I believed I was still breaking out. In fact, I thought I had just cleared up a few months ago, but after realizing my "breakouts" were simply scarring I also realized I was technically clear for much longer than I thought. Rare breakouts only whenever I get lazy with my diet.

The Cure for Acne:
-Avoid the Acne Trifecta: Soy, Gluten, and Dairy like the plague.
-Eat a Low-GI diet and avoid Sugar.
-Eat lots of protein and healthy fats (ANTIBIOTIC FREE/NO HORMONES ADDED/FREE RANGE/HUMANELY SLAUGHTERED)
-Get lots of green vegetables and sunshine.
-Supplement whenever possible. Due to how much we've ruined food in the past 60 years, the amount of nutrients found in food nowadays is lower than it was decades ago.
-Exercise, get sunshine, and avoid stressful situations.
-Don't fear food. Go out & eat. It's not good for the skin, but it's good for the soul.

#3 MgX

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:28 AM

........ don't give up on him........ always make him feel that you have his support 100% but also be cautious enough and recognize when to back off a little.......... don't opt for using needles, it hurts really bad... (i've been through that and i will never have it done ever, the skin will renew itself naturally)... for me i started to notice a change on my acne when i was prescribed by my derm to take oral isotretinoin and switched to using the mildest products i can have.... i still use that regimen which includes
1. washing with sulfur soap 2x a day and cetaphil cleeanser (get the sulfur soap with the least amount of ingredients/chemicals)
+ facial scrub every other day
2. rinsing with ice cold water as much as possible (helps rid of itchiness and redness plus closes the pores)
3. apply my home made topical toner (consists of sterilized water+clindamycin+vit C)
4.moisturize with cetaphil lotion........

....what i did was research those ingredients that are comedogenic, printed it out >that served as my guide to finding the right products that i can use....... as you can see from my regimen i use mainly cetaphil, the mildest products i can use and it really helped my skin retain the moisture it needs
....i also don't wear make up anymore.....and i think never again, i'm too scared to put make up on now and even a simple powder, coz that's what caused my acne!!!!!, i just use petroleum jelly on my lips if it gets too dry coz of my medication (am on Accutane)......
.....although it would still depend on the skin type your son has..... just try to find the best things/ products for him..... don't waste your money on those highly commercialized acne fighting treatments...... trust me i have tried a lot of those and my acne got worse after that......
.....also on nutrition....... you can research the type of foods you have to avoid to help get rid of acne... personally i have cut my sugar intake, as well as my dairy consumption.

never give up....Fight Fight Fight ACNE..... we are all here fighting beside you.... God Bless!!!

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.....


#4 ClearDreaming

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:38 AM

I dont really think you can force him to do anything. My mum used to 'nag' me about my skin and it just made me feel like that was all she cared about and it was my fault. So it's really important not to do the nagging route. I really don't think there is much you can do if he's not showing an interest, as trying out all these new products etc does take some dedication, and that has to come from him.

Is there a reason you stopped going to the derm? At the end of the day there are so many things they can prescribe away for years, or there's accutane. Its sometimes easier coming from a non family member, its never irritated me a dr going 'hmmm yeh it is bad' but if my mum does it its just a recipe for a fight.
Started (Ro)Accutane :)
Month 1- 20mg
Month 2- 50mg
Month 3- 50mg

I literally do not care what you think about accutane, it was MY choice to take it, respect that.

#5 overfl00d

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

I suggest you change his diet. Check out my post below for information! Stay away from antibiotics/ drugs at all costs! It will only make the problem worse down the road.

#6 gingergirl22

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

Thank you for your responses and suggestions!
I have had success draining a whitehead (a little prick of a needle and a little squeeze on warm skin, then dab the area with hydrogen peroxide) without leaving any scarring. It does have to be "ready". Since he is afraid of needles (his hands shook when he tried this last month) I just wondered if anyone had any other non-scarring ways to drain a big whitehead.
I agree about the nagging and the doctor having more influence than mom. But nothing the doctors have prescribed has helped (topical and oral antibiotics) so he is losing faith in doctors.
He doesn't have cystic acne (yet..). Will doctors prescribe Accutane for acne vulgaris and doesn't it require bloodwork during the treatment? That means needles, which would obviously be a problem.
I have tried Cetaphil when I had acne and it made my skin worse, so I am afraid to have him use that. Right now, when I can get him to wash, he is using Burt's Bees Acne Solutions or a baking soda wash during showers, MyChelle Clear Skin Spot Treatment, and a good quality supplement with skin clearing herbs (supposed to stabilize hormones). I also add Vitamin D drops to his food because he doesn't get out in the sun enough. He eats pretty well, not the greatest, but loves a big salad and drinks a lot of water. The baking soda REALLY seems to help the most!

#7 tritonxiv

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

It's likely that nothing is going to help if it's heavily genetic as you mentioned. My whole family has the same type of severe genetic acne and diet doesn't fix it. Neither did BP, Retin-A, Zinc, or a slew of other products. If anything try some probiotics to balance the intestinal gut flora.

The only thing that ever worked for me was accutane. But there are two things I should mention:

1. Accutane has serious side effects that require careful consideration by the person taking it. 14 is too young to make a decision that could potentially affect the rest of his life.

2. Accutane is not a permanent cure for people like us who have severe hereditary acne. It comes back once you stop taking it, which is why I never stopped taking it. (Going on ten years now)

#8 Jc08

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:02 PM

hey gingergirl22,

It's very enlightening that a mother cares so much because we all know the amount of psychological trauma that acne can cause. I agree with tritonxiv about your son going on accutane, even though the side effects can be brutal.

As for the needle method, i would suggest to just back off since he's scared of needles. Take good care of him because acne is just terrible!

#9 ClearDreaming

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:21 PM

I totally lost faith in my Drs too, but I came round a year or so later and went back and they are putting me on accutane. I don't get white heads I get cysts, but I think it can be prescribed for acne like you mention if it has been resistant to a lot of other treatments.
It might be worth reading up on, and asking about. I wish I had done it a lot younger to prevent some of my scarring.
Started (Ro)Accutane :)
Month 1- 20mg
Month 2- 50mg
Month 3- 50mg

I literally do not care what you think about accutane, it was MY choice to take it, respect that.

#10 Lilly75

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 11:14 PM

I think it's really great of you to be trying to help your son out with this. I know my mum never understood how emotionally hard it can be to have to deal with acne.

That being said showing too much concern with his acne could make him more self-conscious about it. It could come across as him having clear skin is all you're worried about. forcing him to use something or take something for his acne that he isn't comfortable with wouldn't be a great idea - so maybe just suggest the needle thing (and/or any other options) to him and let him decide. Though popping or picking is likely to leave scars anyway. Is diet something he has looked at? I haven't tried changing my diet to see how it effects my acne yet - I'm researching still - but I've heard a lot of people have success with it so maybe this is something to try out

Good luck to the both of you :)

Started The Acne.org Regimen 2nd July 2013

 


#11 gingergirl22

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:31 AM

I really appreciate the caring and thoughful responses that were posted. I just ran into a female neighbor who is in her late 30s and used to have very bad cystic acne and she is totally clear now. She said she went on Accutane, had no side effects and has stayed clear for years. It really made an impression on me as I remember when her skin was broken out. I will read up more on Accutane and find out if it is an option my son can consider. The reading I have done has said that it is not a permanent fix on younger people.

There does come a point in one's life that the acne stops, even if it is hereditary. For my brother, my father, and I it was in our 20s. But back when we were battling acne there weren't the products and knowledge about acne that there is now, so managing it was so much harder. When I think back to what was available, I know I did more harm than good with all those alcohol based fragranced products I used.

Thank you!

#12 jjn

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:56 PM

OP There are several different antibiotics (I know of at least 4) that derms prescribe for cystic acne. Did your son try all of them already and did they help at all?

#13 allrighty

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 11:38 PM

Its obviouslly in the family genes.
Maybe he is embaressed to talk about his acne, but you could sit him down, one on one and ask how he feels about having acne.

I think less is best.
Try manuka honey with brown sugar as a scrub, use it 2 or 3 times a week with warm water all over his face.
Try vitamins like B5, zinc, vitamin c and d. Acia berry too.

Lots of water, less junk food too maybe.

#14 gingergirl22

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 07:05 AM

jjn - He's tried two types of antibiotics and they worked a little but it all came back after the treatment. Worse.

thisisnothollywood - I have talked to him and he would rather the acne not be there but just is absent-minded about keeping up with a regimen and when I step in with a reminder I'm a nag.

Thanks to both of you for your comments.

#15 allrighty

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:27 PM

just put a tub of manuka honey mixed with raw suagr in the shower and tell him to use it whenever he has a shower, maybe forget the vitamins etc lol

#16 gingergirl22

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:23 AM

We tried a raw honey wash a while ago and he didn't like the feel of it. As for doing this or any other wash in the shower, the problem is that he "forgets" to wash in the shower. I have a sneaking feeling he doesn't like touching his face. But thank you for the suggestion. We are now trying not washing, just rinsing in the shower and a green tea/sea salt toner.

He gets whiteheads a lot but cannot handle the needle method, so I really need suggestions as to how to release the accumulation another way. They stick around for SO LONG when they aren't dealt with when they come to a head. I know a lot of people say that there is scarring when you do this, but a needle prick has never left a scar on me. He is terrified of needles so I'm not sure there is another way that doesn't leave a scar.

#17 allrighty

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:23 PM

Hmmm can u take a pic of his face and upload it here? IS it really that bad?
He may just grow out of it. I get white heads, little lumps and when u squeeze them a little core comes out....I dont get alot now since using the honey wash, I take my vitamins and do juicing, best thing I did was get off the bp and face washes.

#18 jjn

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:10 PM

gingergirl

I would have your son try the other types of antibiotics for at least 2-3 months. If the cystic acne still comes back, it is time to think seriously about accutane, I know some people here will be completely against it because of potential side effects. Well, very low dosage accutane seems to be very effective with just minor side effects. I think the benefits should outweigh the risk. If your son indeed has bad cystic acne, you need to treat it aggressively. You should discuss it over with your son and see what he wants to do of course. Then you both need go over all your options with the derm.

#19 Binga

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:24 PM

cause of acne is hormonal due to weak liver/adernal glands and vitamin deficiency. You need to treat it internally.

Get a good juicer start juicing vegetables. Do not overdose and drink one glass of fresh vegetable juice everyday. My recipe is carrot, celery, cucumber, 1/4 beet and maybe pinch of dandelion greens. Juicing book website have great recipes. If you cannot afford making fresh juice everyday drink wheat grass juice from amazing grass and carrot juice although they are not potent as fresh juice. You will get rid of your acne in no time.

Stop having liver stressors caffeine, cola, refined sugar, junk food. Plenty of citrus fruits, oatmeal, yoghurt, mediation, yoga helps as well.

#20 gingergirl22

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 09:15 AM

gingergirl

I would have your son try the other types of antibiotics for at least 2-3 months. If the cystic acne still comes back, it is time to think seriously about accutane, I know some people here will be completely against it because of potential side effects. Well, very low dosage accutane seems to be very effective with just minor side effects. I think the benefits should outweigh the risk. If your son indeed has bad cystic acne, you need to treat it aggressively. You should discuss it over with your son and see what he wants to do of course. Then you both need go over all your options with the derm.


Fortunately, his acne has not progressed to cystic yet. Thanks for the advice in case it does through.

cause of acne is hormonal due to weak liver/adernal glands and vitamin deficiency. You need to treat it internally.

Get a good juicer start juicing vegetables. Do not overdose and drink one glass of fresh vegetable juice everyday. My recipe is carrot, celery, cucumber, 1/4 beet and maybe pinch of dandelion greens. Juicing book website have great recipes. If you cannot afford making fresh juice everyday drink wheat grass juice from amazing grass and carrot juice although they are not potent as fresh juice. You will get rid of your acne in no time.

Stop having liver stressors caffeine, cola, refined sugar, junk food. Plenty of citrus fruits, oatmeal, yoghurt, mediation, yoga helps as well.


All great suggestions! But we are talking about a resistant teen here but I think I can sneak in some juiced vegetables and he doesn;t eat junk food very often. Lately he has been eating a kale salad with dinner...not bad for a teen! He is SO stressed by school and I wish he would take to something like yoga to help calm down. It definitely aggravates his acne.