Helping Your Teenager Deal With Acne
As a common skin condition, acne has the potential to greatly affect a teenager’s life. It is estimated that 85% of teenagers suffer from acne. Although we adults know that acne will pass, this is a small comfort to a teenager who experiences embarrassment, anxiety, loss of confidence or even depression as a result. As parents, we must provide support, but that is not enough. Parents should provide information and guidance on how to treat acne. In most cases, treatment can dramatically reduce acne scars.
Unfortunately, acne doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. There are many types of acne that can be treated in more ways. It is important that you help identify the type of illness your adolescent is experiencing to help make appropriate decisions about the direction of treatment. New drugs have been developed since we were teenagers. What we have accomplished may not work for today’s teens. The best news is that the most common cases of acne are easily controlled even if they cannot be completely cured.
There is no doubt that your teenager is trying everything she can to control her acne. It’s important to remember that even if your teen doesn’t ask for your help, she still wants it. Be supportive when approaching your teen – don’t blame her. Myths about fatty foods, chocolate, or sex that cause acne have been proven false. Even talking about your personal experiences with acne can help reduce the stress your teen is exposed to and help you “humanize” him so that he is more comfortable talking about them.
It is also wise to warn your teenager that most teens suffer from acne, they are not alone. Among 85% of adolescents with acne, 40% of cases are severe enough to require specialized treatment by a dermatologist.
A wise consultation with a dermatologist is to reassure your teenager. Although the spots on your teen’s skin are most likely acne, the condition is likely something else. A dermatologist can provide a definitive diagnosis, with as many treatment options as possible.
If your child has tried an over-the-counter medicine with little success, encourage him to seek the advice of a dermatologist. A dermatologist may recommend an alternative or prescription-only ointment or lotion or even an oral medication to help clear up the condition and relieve physical discomfort.
Most importantly, your teen mentioned that acne doesn’t last forever. As your teenager approaches her twenties, acne should be a thing of the past.