Acne can be a physically and emotionally challenging condition for many teenagers. According to KidsHealth.org, nearly 8 out of 10 teens suffer from some form of acne. Teen acne can cause low self-esteem and anxiety in adolescents, and many have reported suffering from depression and decreased interest in participating in social activities because of this skin condition.
Parents can help, first by understanding how acne impacts teenagers. Luckily, there are many ways to help your teen cope with and treat both the mental and physical aspects.
Provide Emotional Support
Becoming aware of how your teenager is feeling about his or her acne is the first step in helping them cope with the emotional stressors it can cause. While this common skin condition may seem trivial to adults, some adolescents can be deeply affected. It is important to let them know they are understood and you are taking their feeling seriously. Support your child in these ways:
- Watch for signs of depression – Pay close attention to your teen during this time and take notice if he or she is declining social activities. Teens can be bullied by their peers because of their complexion and many never report it. If your teen is feeling anxious about their skin condition, this stress and worry can actually make the acne worse. Encourage your child to relax and help reduce stress in his or her life.
- Help your teen seek treatment – Guide your teenager in seeking treatment for acne, and let them be involved in making decisions about how they will approach treatment. Help them understand the options for over-the-counter topical medications, as well as professional dermatological treatments for acne. Support your teen in whatever treatment decision he or she makes.
- Let your teen meet with the dermatologist alone – Allowing your teenager to meet with the dermatologist alone with help create a bond between patient and doctor. Many teens will open up to the dermatologist without the scrutiny of their parents in the room. Allowing your teen to be honest with the doctor will help them come up with a realistic treatment regime to tackle their acne.
Explore Treatments for Acne
Thanks to many advances in acne prevention, almost every case of acne can be successfully treated. The sooner a teen seeks professional help, the quicker they can get their skin condition under control. Though there are countless acne treatments available, our board-certified dermatologists at Columbia Skin Clinic recommend the following highly effective approaches:
- Consider topical treatments and cleansers – Look for a topical treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide to help your teen fight acne. Benzoyl peroxide is proven to reduce the acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Another ingredient to look for is salicylic acid, which eliminates skin debris that clogs pores and causes acne. Glycolic acid will also help clear acne by gently removing dead skin cells that can lead to acne. These topical acne treatment products are available for purchase at Columbia Skin Clinic, and our dermatologists can advise your teen on to use them properly and for greatest effect.
- Teach proper skin care – Many teens don’t know how to properly care for their skin, especially if they have acne. Encourage your child to practice the following skincare regime:
- Wash once a day and after sweating with lukewarm water
- Be gentle with your skin; hard scrubbing can make acne worse
- Keep your hands off your face and try not to pick at your acne
- Stay out of tanning beds and wear sunscreen
- Never dehydrate your skin completely
- Consult a dermatologist – If acne persists in your teen, consulting a dermatologist is the next step. Medical dermatologists understand the many causes of acne and can provide the most effective treatment for stubborn cases. A dermatologist will not only treat current acne but help prevent new breakouts and lower the chance of acne scarring. At Columbia Skin Clinic, your dermatologist can prescribe both topical and/or oral acne medication to combat skin issues. We also offer acne facials to clear out congested pores and reduce irritation. Our skin experts will determine the best course of treatment for your teenager.
Help your teen overcome acne. Book a dermatology appointment today at one of our three convenient locations in the Midlands.