About 50 million Americans suffer from acne, but if your teen is one of them, they may feel all alone in their struggle. That’s because acne doesn’t just affect teens (and adults) physically; it takes a big emotional toll, as well.
The problem with acne is that it can affect every person differently, so combating it and keeping it under control requires individuals to have their own, unique treatment plan so they can see long-lasting, meaningful results.
At Orange Coast Dermatology, our team specializes in creating one-of-a-kind, patient-centered acne treatment plans aimed at helping teens in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, and Orange, California, enjoy clearer skin and greater self-confidence.
If your teen is struggling with chronic acne, here’s what you need to know.
Why acne happens
Acne develops when hair follicles become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and other debris. Bacteria that occur naturally on your skin begin to multiply inside the warm follicle, feeding on the oily debris.
As the bacteria grow and reproduce, they cause an infection, triggering an immune system reaction inside your teen’s skin. White blood cells travel to the follicle, and the resulting “battle” between these cells and bacteria results in the pus-filled, red, sore pimples and pustules that form the core symptoms of acne.
Hormonal fluctuations during the teen years are a major reason why acne breakouts are more common during these years. But acne can — and often does — continue into the adult years, leaving visible scars, as well.
What you can do to help
It can be tempting to write off your teen’s acne as something they’ll “grow out of.” While your teen may (or may not) leave acne behind once they reach their 20s, the emotional effects of acne can last a lifetime.
As a parent, the most important thing you can do for your teen is to take their concerns and anxieties about their acne seriously. Be a good listener, and be ready to provide them with the support and care they need to reduce breakouts and feel better about their appearance. The tips below can help.
Seek medical treatment early
Acne benefits from ongoing medical treatment. One of the most important things you can do as a parent of a teen with acne is to make sure your teen gets regular care from a dermatologist who is skilled in treating the condition.
Acne treatments have changed dramatically in recent years, and they continue to evolve. Working with a skilled dermatologist ensures your teen receives the most effective therapies available based on their unique needs.
Help your teen choose the right products
Look for skin care products designed for acne-prone skin. Our team can suggest products based specifically on your teen’s acne symptoms and their skin type. It’s also important to avoid scrubbing the skin or using harsh exfoliants that can irritate skin and make breakouts worse.
Limit sun exposure
Sun exposure can dry out skin, causing oil glands to go into overdrive. In turn, extra oil production means it’s more likely your teen’s follicles will get clogged, jump-starting the breakout cycle. Plus, some acne medicines make skin more prone to the sun’s harmful effects.
Limit sun exposure during the midday hours if possible, and make sure your teen uses sunscreen.
Research shows that people with acne are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem — serious emotional health issues that can forever alter your child’s self-worth.
If your child is struggling with any of the emotional effects of acne, take those struggles seriously and find a counselor who can help. Like the physical symptoms of acne, the emotional effects respond best to early, proactive treatment.
Find your teen’s acne solution
No matter what type of acne your teen has, early treatment and ongoing management are the keys to clearer skin.
To learn how we can customize an acne therapy that works for your teen, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online with the team at Orange Coast Dermatology today.