Daughter battling acne on forehead and back

plumbly22February 12, 2008

My 15 you daughter is battling acne on her back and forehead... we've been to the dr and the dermotoligst... but the products they've had her use don't seem to be touching what's going on. Dr (first try before dermotologist) had her try free & clear products... and cetophil products for cleaning... didn't begin to touch it...

Dermotologist gave her a prescription for tretinion ointment/cream (two different strengths), again neither of which seems to do anything... I an loath to put her on the pill to help this out (and so is she) due to the weight gain she could expect with that...

Any ideas???

FWIW... I have a supposed 'friend'(neighbor) who wants to sell me Abronne stuff to help... I'm NOT excited about trying this... I'm not willing to spend $60+ dollars on an OTC thing when no one but this multi-tierd marketing rep is telling me how wonderful the product is... she obviously has a vested interest in me trying the product... I'm guessing about a $30-40 interest...

PLEASE HELP... my daughter is getting frantic!

Also... as an fyi... our laundry is all done in 'green' detergents with extra rinses, so there should NOT be detergent residue on her wash cloths/towels/clothes contributing to this... and... the rest of her face if FINE... it's just the forehead and back...

oh yes... we also switched shampoos and conditioners several times thinking maybe it was residue from those??? She also now takes care of her hair in the shower and then her face and back, so any products from the hair should be cleaned off the forehead and back straight away...

Nothing seems to be helping... we're open for most any idea... as long as we get more than one person supporting it! (shot at that arbonne lady down the street)

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My DD had that same problem when she was that age. She uses a acne cream called Duac and we did put her on the pill. She still gets a bit of acne on her forehead now and then (she is living in a college dorm, so it could be a cleanliness thing)...but for the most part she is clear. My DD didn't gain any weight (or she lost it quickly anyhow).

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 7:10PM
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My teen kids use Acne Free, a product system similar to Proactive but available at Target and quite a bit cheaper. If they are diligent about daily use as directed, their acne disappears.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:33AM
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The trouble with treating acne with a surface product is that you really want to prevent it from happening, not fix it up after it shows. Some doctors treat acne with antibiotics. Tetracycline, I believe. Until you find the cause, you're just stabbing in the dark-is it stress, hormones, allergies, etc. I know you will get a million folk remedies here, but I would ask the dermatologist if she could take the Tetracycline as a preventative. The alternative might be a low dosage birth control pill, which would not cause the weight gain. Does she have a lot of body hair? That could be indicative of a hormonal imbalance.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 4:51PM
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Some people's skin really breaks out from caffeine. Does she use those energy drinks, like Red Bull? Even clear sodas can have quite a lot of caffeine.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 3:08PM
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STAY AWAY from oral antibiotics for acne (tetracycline, minocycline). I took tetracycline for about 5 years, then minocycline for over 10, and I'm here on this board looking for solutions to help with the dark staining on my skin as a result. BTW they also stained my teeth and professional whitening doesn't work. By taking these types of medications, you solve one problem (maybe) but create another. BTW, neither pill helped much anyway.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 5:29AM
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This is a quote from an acne website:

"Alternative treatments for acne focus on self care:

- Proper cleansing to keep the skin oil-free

- Eating a well-balanced diet high in fiber, zinc, and raw foods

- Avoiding alcohol, dairy products, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and foods high in iodine, such as salt.
Acne is not caused or worsened by eating chocolate or oily foods."

Snookums' warning about tetracycline is valid. I know someone else who had dark staining on her skin and know several people whose teeth were darkened from using tetracycline for acne.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:34AM
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My BIL has darkened teeth from oral antibiotics. And Snookums is correct and the stains cannot be lightened, the only way to get rid of the stains is to cap the teeth. My BIL decided to just live with it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Hi- first post!
I remember being in this situation too well. If the acne is cystic (big "underground" bumps), check into a drug called Accutane. My dermatologist put me on this for about 12 weeks 20 years ago and I never had another problem. It's a very strong medicine, so give it some thought, but it was extremely beneficial to me.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:24AM
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I'd talk to her dermatologist again. It sounds like they only really tried her on one medicine and that it did not work for her. I would think they could try some different things that aren't the pill if you wanted to stay away from it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 12:08AM
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It's not cystic, it's hundreds of tiny pin heads, white centers, red near the bottom... We're still trying different topicals and cleaning the areas 3+ times per day... personally, I'm concerned it's a result of too much cleaning!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Despite your DD rinsing and washing the conditioner off of the hair- it is still there. Conditioner is made to coat the hair. If she wears her hair on her forehead and it is touching her back that would be my first guess.
I had the same problem but it cleared up quickly when I quit using conditioner.
Drinking excessive milk or consuming too much fatty food also causes the same reaction on me.

I also have to agree with the tetracycline being a bad choice- it is a great medication but has some serious side effects with extended use.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 2:12PM
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I also like Proactiv. Another product I like is from The Body Shop, they are tea tree oil face blotters. They really help control the shine and oil, a very nice product.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I had acne as a teen. I took tetracycline for several years. It didn't help. I also used acne products containing Benzoyl Peroxide and they DID help. Look on OTC acne products labels for this chemical. It acts as an anti-bacterial and it does work! Tell her to use the product as directed, once or twice a day. It's a liquid that you need to rub in. It will take some time, at least a month, but it works. I promise.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 4:53PM
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Accutane is highly dangerous to women of childbearing age. It is linked to birth defects. I would be very careful about this. Ask your dermatologist. Most of them will not even prescribe it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 2:40PM
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So, she's been using hte Acne Free 3 step products for about 3-4 weeks now. Today I took her for a facial (Christmas gift she had received a gift certificate for). The Person indicated she did NOT believe this actually is acne, as veryy little of it appears to come to a 'head' and is typically located in the same areas and no where else on her face but her forehead. She believes that it is most likely a dairy allergy and suggested she cut out most dairy for a few weeks and if that helps that we discuss that option with the dermotologist! The saga continues!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:10PM
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Thanks for all of the support everybody.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:01PM
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I know someone who only got rid of that type of acne after taking accutane - not sure if it's banned from U.S.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:20PM
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When I had acne on my face, I used to apply a turmeric and milk paste to my acne while sleeping. Also washing your face with cold water and drinking water can help you to get rid of this acne.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:20AM
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Make sure that she is keeping her hair clean and that will help with her forehead. If she is sweating this will cause the pores to be clogged as well so this might be why she is getting so much acne.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:10PM
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I read that aloe vera juice from a live plant helps cure skin problems like that. Clearsil pads worked for me when I was young.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:17PM
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I used to suffer from severe back-acne... What helped...

1. Use plain head and shoulders on it daily as you would a body wash in the shower -- also use on hair - I'd typically lather my back with it first and let it sit while washing everything else and try not to rinse it off too soon. I wouldn't let it sit lathered for more than 5 minutes though as, with any product, can cause irritation which is what were trying to avoid.

The active ingredient - Zinc pyrithione - works as both as an antibacterial and as an anti-fungal. My sister and many friends all swear by it now after I told them.

I literally tried everything - over the counter and prescription topical applications. I even went so far as to get a chemical peal done on my back... I don't recommend that.

2. Get rid of any fabric softeners - period (besides being terrible for fabrics, they wreak havoc on skin), scented detergent, and switch to free and gentle detergent. Get unscented dryer sheets or switch to Woolzies (wool dryer balls - I switched to them recently, and they're the best thing I've ever bought ever in regard to doing laundry). If you still want. - just re-read your post and see you do your laundry green too. Yay.

3. Avoid irritating foods - over consumption of iodine has been shown to cause acne outbreaks - soy sauce, mangoes, sea vegetables, yogurt. Irritating foods include those with high glycemic index, processed/junk foods, for some people certain spices can be triggers.

4. Check your bathroom and home for potential fungal issues - can have a huge impact on acne. May want to try also a more vigorous/hotter/disinfecting method of cleaning bath towels.

5. Don't... don't... don't pop them, scratch them, pick at them and don't applying irritating products - acids, drying type products and oh dear god... Benzoyl peroxide, arbonne, mary kay, etc are just crap products where the cost comes from the marketing and not from quality.

6. The skin still needs to be hydrated - she should be drinking plenty of water and I recommend using a very very simple moisturizer after bathing. Vanicream lite is a personal favorite - It's Fragrance-free, lanolin-free, paraben-free, formaldehyde-free
No formaldehyde releasers

It's the best moisturizer. Period. End of story. It's what you use to moisturize severe burns without irritating the skin. I use it daily... once you try it, there is no going back. Generally you have to ask the pharmacy to get it for you or they sometimes carry it. It's an over-the-counter product. Very economically priced and little goes a long way.

7. Clothing should be lightweight and breathable and preferably little to no synthetics present - they can be irritating.

8. When and if the acne heads do pop - on their own or what have you - I usually would do a band-aid with triple antibiotic ointment - band-aid mostly to prevent staining on clothing.

9. When the acne starts improving, I recommend switching to a moisturizer/product called cerave (again, can get it through the pharmacy) It uses a moisturizing acid (Hyaluronic Acid) and ceramides to help the skin to rebuild itself - it's ridiculous how much, over time, it can help with the resultant scarring from back-acne and other skin issues.

10. Try going on an allergy medicine. Personally, it never fails - when I run out of my Zyrtec... I have an acne outbreak.

Keep us posted!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:43PM
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just have to add the other day on Dr Oz he or a guest talked about hair conditioner causing a problem, guess it leaves a film, and they mentioned using head and shoulders, might look on his site.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:05PM
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