Teenage spots

My teenage son has spots. He’s 13, it’s to be expected.

They look quite bad to me, but I wouldn’t say that to his face because I don’t want to upset him.

I always said as soon as a child of mine got spots, I would be taking them straight to the doctor’s. Over-reaction? Maybe. But I know what it’s like to have spots and it’s not fun. People stare at you, people tease you, you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

I also know that spots are in their genes. Not mild teenage acne, but bad spots.

I first got spots as soon as I turned 12. I finally got rid of them earlier this year, but only by going on Roaccutane, the strongest acne drug there is, which can only be prescribed by a dermatologist at the hospital (not a GP) and only in the most serious cases. I’m still on it now, I’ll be on it until early next summer.

When I met my husband, when we were both 19, he had some of the worst spots I had ever seen. As a fellow sufferer, I could see beyond the acne to the person underneath. Although his spots were worse than mine, they at least had the decency to leave him in his early 20s, unlike mine which lingered on into my 40s.

So spots really are in my son’s genes, and in all of my kids’ genes. You can see why I would be concerned about my his spots. I look at them and I don’t know if they’re normal or bad, I don’t know if I should take him to the doctor, I don’t want to make a fuss or a big deal out of it and potentially upset him.

But I do know I don’t want him to have them until he’s 41.

What would you do?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I think I can completely understand you wanting to take him to the GP and I would too. There may something mild but magic they can give him to keep them at bay. Teenage spots phase is horrid for some!

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    • Funnily enough, after I’d written this, he made a comment about his spots, so I asked him how bad they were compared to the rest of his year. He said they were the second worst in the year 🙁 They don’t look that bad to me, but I guess second worst in the year is worthy of a trip to the doctor.

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  2. Take him. I was 14 when my Mum took me and I had a few courses of Minocin (antibiotic) which helped for a while and then went onto Dianette (pill) which I stayed on for many a year and it completely cleared up. My husband had roccattane like you and suffered dreadfully. He has terrible scarring now which he is still concious of. We have both said if any of ours suffer we’d take them straight to the GP. The worst they can say is you have to come back later if it hasn’t improved. At best you’ll get things sorted before he suffers any more.

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    • Thank you! I really appreciate that and I think you’re absolutely right. It sounds like your family is very similar to ours, so you understand where we’re coming from.
      I too had Dianette for a few years and antibiotics from 16 to 20, before moving onto an antibiotic lotion.
      Sorry to hear about your husband’s scarring. We are both lucky that we don’t have scarring.

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  3. id be concerned too & fully understand that you don’t want to make it an issue for your son. Would it possible for you to doeak to the nurse at your GP practice, perhaps with a photo and discuss with them about whether any intervention is needed right now? It may save him some embarrassment if GP first recommend anything right now and feels you should wait until a little older. Hope things sort themselves out for him.

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    • Thanks very much, I really appreciate that and it sounds like a good idea. From what I remember as I child, they’re generally not keen to do much before the age of 16, but it’s still good to have a medical opinion.

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  4. Oh this is something I worry about for my children, I had awful acne too and my skin has never been the same since. I was under hospital care for it also, although never had Roaccutane. I think I would take him to the GP, approach it gently, it is probably something he is worried about, but just not talking about. No harm in starting to talk about options with the doctor I don’t think. I’m already having flashes of the the pillowcases I bleached with all the topical lotions they gave me.

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    • Thanks very much, I think you’re right! It’s good to read from the perspective of other adults who’ve had acne too as we probably see things differently from people who haven’t had it.
      I had those bleached pillowcases (and pyjamas too!). In fact, I was using those lotions as recently as last spring, when my regular treatment stopped working (again!).

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  5. Teen has started to get them here too : ( so far they have not been too unmanageable. My sister had very bad acne and was on some form of medication at aged 14 until early twenties. I remember watching her in tears because of them and the name calling she received on a daily basis. Acne is completely underrated in teenage years. I know you will be the best support your sob can have- good luck. Vx

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    • Thanks very much. Your poor sister! Teenagers can be so cruel! I got a bit of name-calling early on, as I was the first to have acne, but not too bad after that when others started getting spots too. Mine were actually never the worst, I just never got rid of them! x

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