Acne Question for the Ladies - Personal in Nature

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, thank you to anyone who reads and responds, commiserates, and or just thinks of Jessie.

    On top of all the other stuff she has had to face, Jessie's acne is out of control. Up to now we kept getting the "it is just mild. Use OTC products like oxy or proactive." directions from the pediatrician.

    Just lately though it has spread down her arms almost to the elbow, all over her back and even all over her breasts. The zits are NOT small and are NOT blackheads. They go very deep and end up with nasty painful looking scabs.

    She tries her hardest not to rub or pick at them. They actually HURT, even just having a shirt or bra rub on them is painful.

    We are doing proactive because Gma bought some for Wiz and he refused to even use it. By the time Gma realized he wasn't using it she had paid for 4 months worth of product.

    Proactive helps some with her face. Not so much with the rest of her though.

    Pretty much the docs are blowing this off in light of the other problems. I don't want her on a bunch of medications if it isn't needed, but I am actually starting to worry about the health of her breasts. the zits actually go right up to the nipple and seem very deep.

    Any advice? Suggestions? Does anyone know if it can interfere with breast development or leave scarring that would make it hard for her to nurse a child? (I ask because one of the zits burst and it actually stained through her top - which was NOT tight.) (Hope that is not too gross, sorry.)

    She sure does NOT need any more problems, but she is handling things better than I would.

  2. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    That just doesn't sound normal at all; I think I'd be looking for another doctor for a second opinion.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Is it acne or something like eczema? That sounds really painful...poor Jessie. Can you get her to a dermatologist?
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I agree. If it's recent, plus how it's spread, one has to wonder if it's an allergy or medication-related? I think you need to take her to a specialist/dermatologist, Susie. This is way past the scope of a GP.

  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'd take her to a dermitologist. It sounds like something is irritating it and making it worse. Some things mentioned as possibilities with my son- hot showers, irritating clothing (try to keep her in cotton- washed before worn the first time), soaps with perfumes or lotions (Dove for sensitive skin usuaully works well). You may need to switch to a milder laundry detergent. Again, this is another process of elimination. Plus, since it sounds like the pimples may be on the verge of being infected, a dermitologist is probably your best bet.

    difficult child's pediatrician nurse was concerned about his acne on his head (in his hair area) because they hurt and were getting infected (he has oily hair) and rx'd something for it. The *&$*&$* nurse in Department of Juvenile Justice recently told him he didn't need any medicine, not to worry about it- that all teens get pimples.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree about taking her to a dermatologist. I'm sorry she is in so much pain due to this. I've been keeping Jesse in my daily prayers and will continue to do so. Hugs to Jesse.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree with the others about getting a second opinion. I'm sorry she's having to deal with this on top of everything else. Have you already looked into a possible allergic reaction? Thinking of my board niece and sending her big hugs xo ML
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I would actually take her to an endocrinologist.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    This sounds above and beyond "normal" acne. I definitely would see a dermatologist. I don't believe arm and chest areas are typical for this degree of breakouts.

    Poor Jess - being 13 is tough enough. I'm glad she's handling this challenge well, but it's got to be tough for her. Sending her good thoughts!

    Just an off the cuff suggestion - have you tried tea tree oil? One of oldest son's nurses suggested it when he hit puberty and I was really amazed at how effective it is. It's a natural ... not antibiotic but... ugh, can't think of the word... disinfectant, that's it. I just put a drop on a q-tip and apply to affected area and in a day (honest) the redness is gone. It's not oily but it does have a strong smell (I like the smell, but you/Jess might not). Might be worth a try - I picked up our last bottle at Kmart, but GNC also carries it.
  10. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Ouch! It sounds awful, poor Jessie! Agree that a derm visit is a very good idea. But in the meantime, fwiw ... the Clean & Clear spot treatment products are really effective on cystic acne -- those deep, painful "lumpy" zits. They use salicylic acid, not benzoyl peroxide like Oxy & ProActiv. In our experience, Clean & Clear works faster and doesn't seem to be as harsh on the surrounding skin. Sorry she has to go through this.:sad-very:
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Above and beyond normal acne.

    Until you can get her into another doctor for a 2nd opinion she could try using either dial or safeguard antibacterial soap when she showers.

    Now I can commeserate. I had severe acne when I was a teen. Covered the chest/back/top of arms/face/neck. The one time I tried and anti acne product I was severely allergic to it. And was after that too afraid to try them again.

    Safeguard soap did not cure it, but it did do alot to keep it under control and make it back to mild status. When the acne was severe, I used it twice a day. When under control once a day. Even now if I get a particularly nasty one......I'll use safeguard soap on it........I'll plaster it on there dry and leave it. wash it in the morning.

    Is Jesse on steroids for anything?? I had a thought pop into my head that steroids might compound the issue. (not sure if it's true)

    If it is that severe, I'd take her to a specialist. Poor kid.

  12. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Susie, I have acne just like this; although I didn't start getting it on my face until my early to mid-twenties; and only in the last couple of years has it been on my back, shoulders, arms to my elbows, breasts and nether regions. It is cystic and it is painful. Plus, they leave scars.

    NONE of the OTC or Proactiv or rx medications have helped me. In the past, I could use Neutrogena Acne Body Scrub if I had a little breakout on my shoulders. It does nothing anymore. The best thing I have found is to use a moisturizing soap. I'm using Bath and Body Works body wash. It doesn't stop the acne, but it makes it more comfortable. The other products dry your skin so much and they weren't helping anyway. So, then I had discomfort from the acne *and* dry skin.

    If we ever hear back from the endocrinologist regarding the Cushing's tests (been waiting over a month now), my doctor is going to rx Spiranolactone (sp?). She can't prescribe it until we hear back because it's a hormone.

    When I saw the dermatologist recently - within the last 2 months - he offered NOTHING for my back, arms, breasts, etc. In fact, he said he couldn't treat that. (!!!) He offered retin-a for my face and I've been there done that. Doesn't work. So, I'm holding out for the medication from my GP.

    The reason I suggest an endocrinologist is because something out of whack can cause this. A dermatologist is only skin deep, Know what I mean??
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I wanted to add that I've also been given antibiotics and spot treatment medicine and neither did anything for me. Everyone is different, but that's been my experience.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Jessie and I both appreciate ALL of the responses.

    Steroids can make acne incredibly worse. I was on hydrocortisone for inflammation for most of my teens. Even now just a small dose of steroids makes me break out horrifically. Jessie is not on any steroids or hormone treatments.

    She is very open to trying tea tree oil and I just bought a new bottle so we are going to start that in the morning.

    She cannot use dial, safeguard or other antibacterial soaps. Her skin just cannot tolerate them. I do have her using bactroban on the infected areas with her doctor's approval. One thing that is a nuisance but I absolutely INSIST on is that she use a clean towel after every shower and a clean washcloth to dry her face after every time she washes it - 2 to 3 times a day depending on how oily it gets. Using a towel or cloth you have already used is a way to re-introduce bacteria and that is NOT what she needs. Once I explained that she is a lot better about using clean towels AND about washing her towels.

    I will look for the clean and clear products to try to help. I have her using a light moisturizer that is oil free because if skin gets too dry it gets tiny cracks that let bacteria in. Also if you let your skin get too dried out from soaps and creams then the body produces more oil because it is part of the natural protection that skin has.

    As soon as I can get her into the doctor after her trip I will have ehr seen. I will probably book it in the morning. I don't want her to start a new medication, even topical, before she heads out on vacation where I don't know how much sun she will get. Many, if not most, acne products make you super sensitive to the sun. Too risky to try on what will be her third vacation EVER.

    I will push the pediatrician to get her in to see a dermatologist AND an endocrinologist. She is going to roll her eyes at THAT. She already thinks she sees too many doctors!

    We are open to any ideas. Thank you for the ones you have already offered. She is such a trooper and I really think it hoovers bigtime that she keeps getting these curve balls in her health.

    Hugs to all of you!
  15. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Susie (& Jessie),

    One more OTC tip: Neutrogena makes a product called Acne Stress Control Foaming Power Wash that, despite its name, is gentle enough for everyday use. I have sensitive skin, but wash my face with it daily, and it really helps without drying your skin. It also uses salicylic acid, not benzoyl peroxide.

    Hugs to you both!
  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've personally used tea tree oil (don't take this the wrong way but it does wonders for hot spots on dogs as well). I have kt using it now for a much gentler case of acne.

    I hope that J is feeling better soon ~ this is such a tough age for young ladies & acne can be a cruel & painful partner to this hard time.

    Keeping fingers crossed that the cause & more importantly an effective gentle treatment can be found.
  17. ML

    ML Guest

    For chemical free moisture you could try a wee bit of sunflower oil.
  18. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    I know she's young, but I know a lot of girls who have gotten rid of nasty cystic acne with birth control pills. Just something to think about for the future.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont have acne but I just started a different problem with my skin. The doctor put me on a really mild soap because my skin is extremely dry. It is called Cerava. They also have a moisturizer. She also told me to wash my hair with baby shampoo only. Im allowed to wash my underarms and private parts with something like dial if I feel the need but to rinse them well then wash everything else with the Cerava. So far it seems to be working well on the dry skin.
  20. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Tea tree oil is good.
    Also I know this is a pain as well. But changing the pillow case every night is a big one. It can collect oil from your shoulders and face. Sleep in clean tee-shirt every night also. if she is wearing bare shoulders or back then he needs to change her sheets more often.
    husband has this problem problem as well and we have been waiting to get him into the derm as well. But they are near to impossible to get into here.
    Skin cancer capital of America!
    I am loving the ideas as well...