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Old 03-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #1
LisaR
 
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Laser treatment for acne (or any other ideas)

DD (almost 18) has had problems with acne for years. She has been under the care of a dermatologist forever and nothing seems to work. In some cases, the acne will improve for a few weeks with a new treatment and then in goes right back to being severe again. Or, it gets worse with the new treatment, improves, and just when we think we have the magic formula, it is back again.

She has been going to the dermatologist by herself for awhile now but asked me to go to the last appointment with her. I knew Accutane would be discussed so I had DD look it up before the appointment. Sure enough, the doctor said about the only thing left was Accutane.

DD told her she did not want to take it because she does have some anxiety issues. In addition, she will be leaving for college in 4.5 months and she would need to be on the medication for 6 - 8 months and neither of us were comfortable with her being on something like that while away from home.

She put her on a long term antibiotic called Solodyn. So far, it isn't helping. I asked the doctor about laser treatment and got an eye roll.

I've tried looking up the info but I find most of it is from the place that does the laser treatment so of course they think it is wonderful. It is very expensive. I am willing to pay just about anything to help DD because she absolutely hates her face right now. But I am not willing to pay for something that doesn't work. I'm looking for anyone with experience with laser treatment for acne. Or, if anyone found the magic cream, pill, face wash, etc that worked, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Sorry for the length. I'm so frustrated and sad for DD. I wish I could fix this for her.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
DD (almost 18) has had problems with acne for years. She has been under the care of a dermatologist forever and nothing seems to work. In some cases, the acne will improve for a few weeks with a new treatment and then in goes right back to being severe again. Or, it gets worse with the new treatment, improves, and just when we think we have the magic formula, it is back again.

She has been going to the dermatologist by herself for awhile now but asked me to go to the last appointment with her. I knew Accutane would be discussed so I had DD look it up before the appointment. Sure enough, the doctor said about the only thing left was Accutane.

DD told her she did not want to take it because she does have some anxiety issues. In addition, she will be leaving for college in 4.5 months and she would need to be on the medication for 6 - 8 months and neither of us were comfortable with her being on something like that while away from home.

She put her on a long term antibiotic called Solodyn. So far, it isn't helping. I asked the doctor about laser treatment and got an eye roll.

I've tried looking up the info but I find most of it is from the place that does the laser treatment so of course they think it is wonderful. It is very expensive. I am willing to pay just about anything to help DD because she absolutely hates her face right now. But I am not willing to pay for something that doesn't work. I'm looking for anyone with experience with laser treatment for acne. Or, if anyone found the magic cream, pill, face wash, etc that worked, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Sorry for the length. I'm so frustrated and sad for DD. I wish I could fix this for her.
I'm sorry your DD is struggling with this.

The only thing that takes care of mine is birth control pills.

How is her diet? I try not to drink soda, but if I go on a binge my face gets REALLY bad. (I will drink it for a week or two and then realize it's wreaking havoc on my body.)
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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I was watching Shark Tank last night and this girl was promoting something for acne that was getting really good reviews (she'd used herself as a ginny-pig) anyone out there see it and remember the name of the product for OP?
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier's*Sweeties View Post
I'm sorry your DD is struggling with this.

The only thing that takes care of mine is birth control pills.

How is her diet? I try not to drink soda, but if I go on a binge my face gets REALLY bad. (I will drink it for a week or two and then realize it's wreaking havoc on my body.)
Thanks! She is on BCP. The regular doctor just tried switching her to one that is approved for acne and it set an otherwise normal, happy teen into a crying, hormonal mess so the doctor switched her back to her old pill.

My DD is one of the healthiest eaters on the planet. Seriously, it frustrates her to no end because she doesn't touch things like soda or anything sugary, doesn't ever eat fast food, and she stills has acne. She has friends that eat fried food and drink soda every day of the week and they have the clearest faces you have ever seen.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
Thanks! She is on BCP. The regular doctor just tried switching her to one that is approved for acne and it set an otherwise normal, happy teen into a crying, hormonal mess so the doctor switched her back to her old pill.

My DD is one of the healthiest eaters on the planet. Seriously, it frustrates her to no end because she doesn't touch things like soda or anything sugary, doesn't ever eat fast food, and she stills has acne. She has friends that eat fried food and drink soda every day of the week and they have the clearest faces you have ever seen.
It's such an individual thing right?!

It's a little irritating to see people doing all of the wrong things with their skin and having no issues, yet others do al of the "right" things and have no such luck.

I don't have any other advice, but I hope she finds some relief soon!
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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How long on Solodyne? It did the trick for 2 of my teens, but took a while to really kick in (like 4-5 months).

I think laser, dermabrasion, etc. are more effective for acne that is not actively erupting. But your doctor needs to advise you on this.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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How long on Solodyne? It did the trick for 2 of my teens, but took a while to really kick in (like 4-5 months).

I think laser, dermabrasion, etc. are more effective for acne that is not actively erupting. But your doctor needs to advise you on this.
I think she has only been on it for a month tops. Probably more like 3 weeks. But the doctor told her it has only been approved for use for a three month period of time so it needs to kick in soon!
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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My dd is also struggling with acne and so far nothing she has tried is clearing her skin. Right now she is taking an antibiotic called DORYX and I don't feel it is doing anything for her. In fact the regular doxycycline she was on previous was getting better results. Anyway when I brought it up to the Derm. he said that sometimes it does need awhile to start helping. He added one more month to her Rx and changed her topical medication to Ziana, which does seem to be helping a little bit. He wants to see after that last month and said the next step would be BCP, but I don't really want her on them just yet, and if we can avoid Accutane all together that would be great.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #9
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The only thing that keeps my acne clear is a drug called Spironolactone. I swear I love this stuff!!!!

It treats the hormonal reasons for acne (too much testosterone) instead of the infection.

I tried a lot through the years and it kept my face clear like magic. Has she ever tried that?
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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I started an Accutane thread a couple of months ago as DS was given the option of Accutane or Photodynamic therapy. He's been on all of the scripts (orally and topically) including solodyne over the last 9 months and these were the last 2 options. While they helped, they did not completely get rid of his acne. And each time he came off of the meds and waited to see what happened, he broke out again.

After looking into it, Accutane was still going to cost more (even with our horrible insurance) than the 3 treatments of PDT. I prefered the PDT anyway because of the scary side effects of Accutane.

DS has had 2 of the laser light treatments. So far he is seeing some improvement. A couple of days after the first treatment, he broke out horribly, but cleared right up. The technician said that was common and it was bringing all of the acne to the surface. He looked as if he had a bad sunburn for about a week after.

He had his second treatment last week and did not break out nearly as bad as the first time. He'll go again next Friday for the third treatment and then we'll see what they want to do.

I am paying $250 per treatment for the photo dynamic therapy. After each treatment, DS can not be in the sun for 48 to 72 hours. So we have had the treatments done late Friday afternoon and he just stays inside over the weekend.

I truly think that being prone to acne can be hereditary. My mom and brother had horrible acne as did my DH and none of their diets were full of pizza, sodas and burgers.

Good luck, Lisa R!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDFgirl View Post
The only thing that keeps my acne clear is a drug called Spironolactone. I swear I love this stuff!!!!

It treats the hormonal reasons for acne (too much testosterone) instead of the infection.

I tried a lot through the years and it kept my face clear like magic. Has she ever tried that?
Thanks! That is one I haven't heard of!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernmiss View Post
I started an Accutane thread a couple of months ago as DS was given the option of Accutane or Photodynamic therepy. He's been on all of the scripts (orally and topically) including solodyne over the last 9 months and these were the last 2 options.

After looking into it, Accutane was still going to cost more (even with our horrible insurance) than the 3 treatments of PDT. I prefered the PDT anyway because of the scary side effects.

DS has had 2 of the laser light treatments. So far he is seeing some improvement. A couple of days after the first treatment, he broke out horribly, but cleared right up. The technician said that was common and it was bringing all of the acne to the surface.

He had his second treatment last week and did not break out nearly as bad as the first time. He'll go again next Friday for the third treatment and then we'll see what they want to do.

I am paying $250 per treatment for the photo dynamic therapy. After each treatment, DS can not be in the sun for 48 to 72 hours. So we have had the treatments done late Friday afternoon and he just stays inside over the weekend.

I truly think that being prone to acne can be hereditary. My mom and brother had horrible acne as did my DH and none of their diets were full of pizza, sodas and burgers.

Good luck, Lisa R!
I remember that thread because it was the first time I had heard of PDT. Thanks for the update and I am happy to hear that it might be working for your son!!

Are three treatments the norm or was that just the amount you started off with? \

I just got the mail today and there is a coupon that came for a place that does this. Maybe it is a sign. I will give them a call on Monday and get some more info.

I hope it continues to work for your son!
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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Yes, I believe three treatments are the norm. I will keep you updated on how it all works out.

Our dermatoligist does seem to be progressive and pretty modern with all of her treatments.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:04 PM   #13
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I know it's scary but I would try the Accutane. If anything is going to solve this, it's that. She's with you, she will be closely monitored, you will know if it's working before college. Imagine now good she will feel walking into school if her face is markedly improved, and I think Accutane will do it. This sounds like a pervasive enough, longstanding enough case of cystic acne that it's not bacterial and it probably won't respond to anything topical, including laser treatments. I have seen Accutane work skin miracles, truly. I know it's scary and I give you credit as a mom for having the conversations about it. The potential payoff is huge.

Beyond the anxiety/depression potential side effect (which is relatively rare) is there anything specific that is driving your daughter's strong resistance? Is she sensing your apprehension?

And aside from the skin, does she otherwise feel beautiful? The skin issues are demoralizing, I think anything that can be done around it could only help ... Does she like her hair, weight, clothes?

Last edited by Caradana; 03-30-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:53 PM   #14
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My brother did the course of accutane and it worked very well. His main issue was dryness to skin. Has she tried the Proactive series. I know many people who swear by it. I do net feel technology is quite there for acne. I had acne as a teen an BC was my lifesaver. Now at 41 I have beautiful skin.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
DD (almost 18) has had problems with acne for years. She has been under the care of a dermatologist forever and nothing seems to work. In some cases, the acne will improve for a few weeks with a new treatment and then in goes right back to being severe again. Or, it gets worse with the new treatment, improves, and just when we think we have the magic formula, it is back again.

She has been going to the dermatologist by herself for awhile now but asked me to go to the last appointment with her. I knew Accutane would be discussed so I had DD look it up before the appointment. Sure enough, the doctor said about the only thing left was Accutane.

DD told her she did not want to take it because she does have some anxiety issues. In addition, she will be leaving for college in 4.5 months and she would need to be on the medication for 6 - 8 months and neither of us were comfortable with her being on something like that while away from home.

She put her on a long term antibiotic called Solodyn. So far, it isn't helping. I asked the doctor about laser treatment and got an eye roll.

I've tried looking up the info but I find most of it is from the place that does the laser treatment so of course they think it is wonderful. It is very expensive. I am willing to pay just about anything to help DD because she absolutely hates her face right now. But I am not willing to pay for something that doesn't work. I'm looking for anyone with experience with laser treatment for acne. Or, if anyone found the magic cream, pill, face wash, etc that worked, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Sorry for the length. I'm so frustrated and sad for DD. I wish I could fix this for her.
Solodyn is just minocycline once a day extended release. It is an antibiotic.

I'm sorry you got an eye roll. I think it is because they don't recommend Accutane lightly - you have to be special to even get it mentioned! Despite the various Accutane threads on this board - it is not recommended frequently. From what you have described - everyone who is in this specializing in skin care - dermatology - is going to recommend Accutane at this point. It sounds like your DD has horrid acne. You said she has been under derm care "forever" and that she is at the end of the line. She needs the next step of acne care if you really want to be serious about addressing it. That is why you are going to derm and continuing to seek care, right? You want her to have good results and to get rid of this problem.

Accutane is very much standard of care for very refractory acne. When I say standard of care I mean there is a ton of literature out there that if you have failed everything else and have been under the care of a dermatologist long term - yes, that would be the next step. This is especially true if your kid has really, really bad acne that is literally not responding. They do not recommend Accutane lightly.

If they recommended it for my child I would take it - because living with acne of that level (that gets an Accutane recommendation) is living hell. It hurts - literally. Those cysts are inflammatory and hurt. Plus the way they look is awful! Do you think you could get her acne better before she left for college? If so, you could arrange monthly visits back home the first few months of school to finish the Accutane course. Or your dermatologist could arrange to have her care transferred to a new dermatologist at her new school. They would help you with this - it is their responsibility to if you ask. If you talk to them they should be helpful because of her age and her situation with college. That will not be a new situation to them. Adolescence and acne go hand in hand. Part of that is going off to college when the time comes.

Solodyn would be an option to treat the acne in the meantime, but if you have tried the other stuff it isn't going to be your miracle drug. It is just another oral antibiotic and I bet she has been on those for a long, long time. Accutane would be your next step and your derm is probably recommending it because they think it will probably get you the results you need. If you are to the point where you need Accutane, you have probably been on antibiotics before so Solodyn will probably just give you similar results with once a day dosing versus twice or three times a day dosing. That is better for a teenager.

Laser resurfacing usually comes AFTER you have treated the acne and gotten it calmed down with the Accutane. If you treat that inflamed skin with a laser - it will just peel and usually get worse after the immediate treatments. You might get a short term improvement after several treatments because you have peeled off the surface of the skin with that laser, but you have done nothing with the root of the problem (sebum production). If you get better with a laser, the acne will can get worse again after you stop the expensive laser treatments. And with acne that is severe enough to have an Accutane recommendation, it will usually NOT come to complete resolution with a laser (at least, from what I have seen from my patients who have sought that treatment).

You would have to talk to someone in cosmetics - but I would really be wary about getting good bang for your buck with that laser. You might go from severe acne to moderate with good results (which that would still bother me). Then after stopping the regular treatments - you could potentially go back to severe category acne. Accutane users usually report good results long term after they complete their courses.

What I have see more often: treat with Accutane for the 6-8 months because it literally changes the way the skin works (oil glands, sebum production). Then if you still have long term scarring and changes to the skin after the acne has calmed down (uneven tone for example, pitting and scarring), you an use a laser to resurface the skin later for cosmetic reasons.

I am not a derm specialist but that is what I have seen for my derm patients. I work with a lot of teenagers so with that comes a lot of acne questions. Maybe someone who works in cosmetics can pop in with more laser answers because newer lasers and treatments are coming out all the time.
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