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How I Helped My Daughter Get Rid of Her Acne
My daughter recently developed teenage spots, or acne. Seeing how self-conscious and unhappy this made her, I decided to try and find a solution to her skin problem and work out how to get rid of teenage spots. I really didn't want her to go through her teenage years feeling bad about the way that she looked.
We tried several at-home treatments such as Clearasil and Neutrogena, none of which worked for her skin, other than to give maybe the slightest improvement. At this point, I decided to take her to a dermatologist. He gave me a regime to follow to get rid of her acne—and it worked! She now has only a very occasional small pimple, and none of those under-the-skin, painful, red lumps.
As the cost of going to this dermatologist was hundreds of dollars and the things that he recommended were things that you can buy in a pharmacy, I am sharing the regime here so that other people don't have to pay all that money to help clear up their own skin.
Please note: My daughter had what I would call moderate acne. It was more than just a few pimples, but it wasn't full cystic acne. If you have very severe acne, you might need an antibiotic or prescription medication as well, so this might not work for you.
Step 1: Cleanse Your Skin
The first step is simply to cleanse your skin. You do this to remove the excess oil, which in people with acne can be quite substantial. You should do this morning and night. It cleanses the skin so that the treatment cream (I'll show you that later) is free to work without a barrier of oil between it and the spots.
My dermatologist recommended Cetaphil cleanser because it's cheap and gentle on the skin. He said it was just as good as any of the more expensive alternatives.
Step 2: Treat With Benzac Benzoyl Peroxide Cream
This cream is the second step in the treatment that my dermatologist recommended. Benzoyl Peroxide cream (again a cheap, but highly effective, cream that you can buy at the pharmacy) comes in three strengths: 2.5%, 5% and 10% benzoyl peroxide.
According to my dermatologist, you should start with the 2.5% or 5%. This allows your skin to adjust, as 10% is too strong to start with, and your skin would just become dry.
We started with the 2.5% cream, using that for ten days. During this time my daughter's skin improved, but it didn't improve dramatically, so we decided to move up to 5% strength.
After 2 weeks at 5% strength, my daughter's skin was looking much better. The spots on her chin and cheeks were about 80-90% better, however, she was still self-conscious as she had quite a few red spots on her forehead that hadn't gone. Because of this, we went out and bought the 10% cream. I used this on her forehead only, continuing to put the 5% on her chin and cheeks. About a week to ten days into this new regime her skin was about 99% clear. It has stayed that way since, as long as she continues with the cream.
She did get some very dry patches of skin when she first started using the 10% cream, but as her skin adjusted they have settled down. Please do remember that you really do have to work up to using the 10% cream slowly. When my daughter stopped using it for a while and then reapplied without weaning her skin onto it, her skin became red and inflamed. Be cautious; use every other day at first if your skin seems to be reacting.
Please note that Benzac is just one brand of benzoyl peroxide cream. There are many others, if Benzac is not available in your country. However, I have been told by readers that it's difficult to find 10% benzoyl peroxide cream in the UK, so you may need to buy it online or from an overseas retailer.
Keep reading for the final step . . .
Step 3: Moisturise. Yes, Really!
This regime takes all the oil from your skin (and the spots too, hurrah!) but can leave your skin feeling very dry and flaky if you aren't careful, especially at first.
The dermatologist told me to use this moisturiser from Cetaphil. Luckily it is very cheap and oil-free and doesn't seem to make the skin more oily at all. We have found it makes a real difference in stopping dry and red patches when using the Benzac cream. (Incidentally, he told me that this is just as good as any moisturiser you'll buy anywhere, so I often use it on my more 'mature' skin now too!)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Rachel Thomas