Acne is the bane of the teenage years - and for some teens, it’s worse than that. Acne produces unpleasant pimples and lesions on the face, can cause scars and can be painful. It’s not a wonder that teens often refer to it as ‘the plague’. While we know that acne is a temporary situation for our teen, we sympathize with when we see that he/she has a pimple the size of a small mountain on his/her cheek. Here are some tips on how we can help our teens prevent acne and its consequences:
Develop a hygiene routine aimed at acne prevention. Washing ones face twice daily is a healthy hygiene habit that can be developed even before puberty. This can be done in front of the sink or in the shower. As a teen’s hair can be more greasy because of hormones, encourage a hair style that keeps his/her hair off of his/her face and a daily washing.
Use over-the-counter acne washes and treatments. Spend some time talking with your teen and your pharmacist about the different options of acne treatment available. Give your teen the options, reminding him/her about budgets and other considerations. Then allow him/her to decide which product he/she wants to use.
Be understanding, but realistic. A teen’s self-esteem really takes a blow when he/she has a breakout of acne. Try to understand how this feels and sympathize. But you may have to bring your teen back to reality by reminding him/her, gently, that he/she will still have to meet his/her responsibilities – like attending school.
Help your teen avoid bad habits. Keeping your hands away from your face and not picking or scratching at pimples will help keep your teen’s acne from getting worse and causing scarring. If your teen has these bad habits – and it is hard not to when you have a pimple – brainstorm with your teen about how to avoid touching his/her face. Often just talking to your teen about these types of habits will deter it from happening. However, should it not, you should not badger your teen about it. Allow him/her to learn through natural consequences.
When it gets bad, visit a dermatologist. There is nothing you or your teen will be able to do if his/her acne is constant and uncontrollable. You can avoid permanent scarring and infections by visiting a specialist and following his advice.
On a side note: Experts say that your teen’s diet has nothing to do with whether or not he/she gets acne. That could be true but a healthy diet is worth the effort anyway.