A touching and worried email from a reader who is concerned about her daughter’s mild acne: what can be done?
Here is everything I know about zits – pre-teen, teen, post-teen, perimenopausal – the lot.
1 It’s probably not your diet
We all know what a good diet is and a bad diet is. If you are drinking a lot of fizzy pop and snacking from trash cans you may get breakouts on your cheeks.
(Unless you have actual, clinical acne, which has nothing to do with diet and will be very obvious and will show on the cheeks and forehead.)
If your problem is mainly chin, jawline and forehead, it’s something else.
If you are very keen, keep a food/skin diary. There is a small chance you will see a connection with wheat, dairy, yeast, booze and a breakout. I’d be surprised but it’s not impossible.
2 Having said that
Make sure you are taking your vitamins, just a daily multi-vit will do. If you really want to make this a project, take a ProBiotic. Drink a glass of water occasionally but don’t be obsessive about it.
3 It might be hormones, but don’t start messing about with them
I know probably 2 people, (and I may have made them up), whose zits were sorted out by going on the Pill. For everyone else is can make them worse and/or play havoc with emotions. Don’t do it.
If you are a medicine fiend and just want a goddamn cure, a dermatologist may prescribe you an antibiotic. (See below). But try topical treatments first.
4 Treat your skin like an Old Master
The no.1 temptation when you have ban skin is to fucking ATTACK IT. I HATE YOU U HAVE RUINED MY LIFE AAAAUUUUUUGHGHGH!!!
Do not do this. This is like kicking an abused dog. You ought to treat sensitive skin – because acne-prone skin is sensitive – like it is a precious painting or a fragile vase.
Never, ever use a foaming cleanser, or anything that bubbles. EVER. Never use anything that claims to be formulated for teenage skin or to be “blackhead-clearing”. They’re just having a laugh.
I hear good things about this Salicylic serum from Garden of Widom.
5 Now leave it alone
To help you do that, those silicon zit patches are very helpful. For a monster lurking under the skin, use these from ViceReversa. For anything that you have squeezed, (sorry but the edict not to squeeze is unrealistic), apply a dots for spots patch, which will draw out all that lymph and anger and stop you from touching it or picking it further. It also provides a smooth surface for make up to adhere to.
6 If you are doing all this and you still have a problem and want to call in the big guns, here are some skin experts I can personally recommend.
For serious cases, Dr Edward Seaton
How about you? Any great products you’ve used for acne-prone teen skin? Please leave a comment in the handy box below.