Hello Everyone,

My apologies for being absent for a few days. My oldest daughter, who, in my last blog, had requested that I take her to see our GP with reference to her ACNE, has (we think but are not entirely sure) developed a secondary infection in her gland beneath her chin (bang in the centre directly underneath her chin) due to a humongous spot!

My beautiful girl woke up on Monday morning without a neck, quite literally and was struggling to swallow and lift her head up!!! We were able to gain a slot in the emergency appointment section (and it has to be said our GP was fabulous) but I could tell she was as surprised as we were. The lump was hard and the swelling shocking, but aside of the pain on the affected area (when touched) my daughter felt very well in herself. A suitable course of antibiotics were prescribed, bloods taken and off we went (after I took numerous pics for bribery in exchange for cheek management at a later date). Every day the swelling reduces a little but, the lump remains so we will wait and see what happens over the next few days but my concerns are there for many reasons……….

ACNE can be surprisingly painful and people suffer in many different ways, concern for my daughter was further amplified when this ‘ACNE lump’ (there are medical terms for these but to me they are lumps) appeared as I know only too well that one of the greatest contributing factors for ACNE is genetics. ACNE can be hereditary, so in addition to the fact that I wrote the wrong thing on her ‘bookface’ wall on Sunday (which according to her, had led to the entire devastation of her teen years, street cred ruined and boyfriend potential now hitting minus 2000 trillion), combined with the fact that I was now responsible for giving her ACNE lumps – I was in complete mum meltdown!!!

Seriously, I felt bad about the impending ACNE; I had ACNE in my teens, twenties and early thirties. Put simply, ACNE was my second skin until someone I worked with suggested that I should pay to see a dermatologist privately. It was undoubtedly a life changing appointment; I was thirty something and had been on some form of antibiotic since I was 18 and still suffering. I had the type of ACNE that looked like boils (cystic), they were deep, painful, and red. Often they would take weeks to surface and then they would scar, leaving me feeling very self-conscious. My dermatologist suggested that as I had tried all other forms of treatment and due to the fact that my ACNE was cystic I should consider oral Isotretonoin. He kindly explained all of the pro’s and con’s (of which there are many, so for anyone who is reading this blog and considering this treatment it is very important that you do discuss this treatment option with your GP and a dermatologist) and then gave me information to consider.

I booked my follow-up apt and decided to start the treatment programme, I followed the programme as directed and within six weeks I was thrilled with the results. I could not believe the difference to my skin, sure my lips were dry but that I could live with (I had a lip salve in every handbag and Vaseline all over the house), I HAD CLEAR SKIN………..nothing else mattered! I actually could look at my face and smile, more importantly my face didn’t hurt.

So now I have a dilemma, my GP has said to my daughter that when the antibiotics have cleared up the ‘ACNE Lump’, she should start a slow ACNE treatment, yep, nice and slow and then……..”we can build up gently”……. (a voice inside my head was screaming no………..not again), will she have to wait until she is thirty to have clear skin? Or, do I just take her straight to see a dermatologist NOW and bypass the slow system of painfully building up to blasting the skin scaring critters?

I breathed and reminded myself of my previous blog, ‘The new European Guidelines’, they are due in soon, this WILL provide more support for all of us skin troubled folk who, lets ‘face’ it, (my joke for the day) are ‘fronting’ it out!

I would however like to hear your views on ACNE treatments generally; do you prefer treatments that are slow and gentle on your skin or treatments that are fast acting? I ask this question out of curiosity alone and simply because I believe this does relate to age and lifestyle. All views welcome.

Thanks everyone and sleep well, will keep you all updated on the ‘ACNE LUMP’, Anna


Anna B

I am a mother of three fantastic children aged 14, 5 and 4 (my youngest child is a severe sufferer of eczema and has been since her toddler moments), and I have enjoyed a career in sales and marketing for twenty years. My career has spanned both the not-for-profit and in more recent years in the pharmaceutical industry, heading up the sales and marketing functions, where I have gained experience in rheumatology and extensive experience in dermatology, with a particular focus on acne, clinically dry skin, and eczema with an in-depth knowledge of emollients and topical preparations. I am not a medic; I am a mum with many years’ experience of both industry and child, pushing for the best treatment and probably like you not giving up! I have also learned a few tricks along the way which may or may not work for you, but I am happy to share.

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