Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine (Children)
Acne is a common condition faced by many teenagers. Although most teens will have acne at some point, your teen still may be embarrassed by it. As a parent or guardian, it is important to take your teen’s feelings about acne seriously. Acne can cause low self-esteem and lead to distress in teens. Helping your teen with acne management can make this time less stressful and decrease the long term effects of acne.
You and your teen can follow these 12 tips to help manage or eliminate his or her acne:
- Have your teen use over-the-counter acne products, and wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser twice daily.
Look for products that contain topical benzoyl peroxide as the main active ingredient. Apply cleanser with fingertips, and rinse skin with lukewarm water.
- After washing the skin, treat with a tropical product containing adapeline.
Adapeline is helpful in unclogging pores and preventing new breakouts. A pea-sized amount should be applied to the entire face, avoiding easily irritated areas, such as the eyes and mouth. It also can be applied to the chest and back, if needed.
- Avoid facial scrubs, astringents and masks, as well as excessive scrubbing and washing.
This can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
- Remind your teen to use their acne treatment, but be careful to only remind them occasionally.
A small study shows that fewer reminders from parents are more effective than reminding your child each day, which can be viewed as nagging.
- Do not touch or pick at problem areas.
This can trigger acne, lead to infections and cause scarring.
- Your teen should use shampoo every day.
This is especially needed if he or she has oily hair or problem areas around the hairline.
- Shower after activities that cause sweat and oil production.
Exercising and wearing a hat or helmet can increase sweat and oil production.
- Treat acne early.
It is easier to treat a few pimples than a breakout. Early treatment can also help prevent acne in adult years and reduce scars.
- Protect skin from the sun.
Sun exposure can make acne worse, and some medications make skin susceptible to the sun’s rays. If your teen is planning to be in the sun, have them apply a nonoily moisturizer that includes sunscreen.
- Avoid excessive amounts of cosmetics.
Cosmetics can cause pores to clog and worsen acne.
- Protect skin from items that create friction or cause pressure.
Phones, helmets, backpacks, and tight collars and straps are examples.
- Help your teenager manage and reduce stress,
Stress can cause acne to flare.
If your teen has tried over-the-counter acne products for several weeks and has not seen improvements, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or pediatrician who can prescribe stronger medications and help with treatment options.
Information adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology