13 YO Teen with acne on back (severe), face

Hello:  My son has developed acne on his back and shoulders over the last few months.  His face fares better, but he has breakouts (which I think is normal for a growing teen). We have tried OTC remedies, and some natural ones (purchased at Whole Foods). Nothing seems to be working. I would like to avoid the regimen of antibiotics/other serious RX that my son's pediatrician recommended.  I am looking for recs for someone in the healing arts who can address this with natural remedies  (anyone in the entire Bay Area, North Bay, East Bay, SF) . And I am seeking advice from a parent who has gone through this with their child. I am afraid there might be permanent scarring on his shoulders/back.

Thank you!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

It's not all natural, but Acne Specialists of Oakland (http://www.oaklandacne.com/) use a regimen that doesn't require antibiotics. They use a mixture of dietary/lifestyle interventions and products to help. After years of trying all natural approaches and products without success, this has been a blessing for my family. I’d also look into naturopaths.  Hope this helps!

I found that when I cut out Gluten my skin cleared up! Sometimes it's something they are consuming. Try cutting out Gluten for two weeks and see if it helps! 

As someone who suffered tremendously, I recommend going directly to Accutane. 

Hi Marghi - sorry your son is going through this. Cosmetic problems are hard for all of us but particularly difficult for teens.This is not PC to say but save your money. Herbal/ "natural" remedies don't work. An old, excellent dermatologist told me this years ago, eliminate all dairy from diet....ALL....it's really hard to do this with anyone, particularly a growing teen but if he is the rare patient who can do it - it works. No milk, no cream, no ice cream, no cheese which means no pizza or he has to order pizza without cheese, etc. 

Good luck to you and your son.

My sister has struggled with acne issues for over 20 years. She eventually opted to go on medication and it's changed her life! She no longer lives in fear of the next outbreak. Acne has had a serious negative impact on my sister, from her self esteem and self image and her lifestyle/social life. Acne has impacted so many of her choices over the years and we both try to imagine what our lives would have been like without skin issues. My sister has both emotional and physical scars which she has spent time and money trying to improve over the years. I know it seems extreme to medicate, but honestly, adolescence is hard enough even for those blessed with minor skin issues. I would recommend doing whatever it takes to help him remedy this - even if it means medication. Good luck to both of you.

I feel for your son. If it's the regular kind of acne that most teenagers get, I would suggest you try all the interventions every one here has suggested. If, on the other hand, he has the kind of acne that is the painful, cystic kind (like I did as a teenager) I would say skip the natural remedies and proceed directly to Accutane. It is the only thing that helped me. I tried every treatment imaginable until (at age 20 STILL with a terrible problem) I took Accutane. It can be hard on your body going through it for sure, but it was miraculous.