Acne is the most common skin disorder in the U.S. and affects 40 to 50 million Americans. Just when appearance often becomes so important to teens acne can strike and strike hard. By the mid-teens, more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne.
At Water’s Edge Dermatology, teens come to see our acne experts tens of thousands of times each year. We know that acne can take a toll on a teen’s outlook on life, social adjustment, and even school performance. Studies show that teen acne can result in lower self-esteem, poor body image, social withdrawal, depression, anger, and frustration.
The good news is that there are things that parents can do to help teens overcome acne, starting with these five steps from the American Academy of Dermatology:
Tip 1: Take acne seriously
Telling your teen that acne will clear up on its own may do more harm than good. Kids with acne may be bullied and called names like “pizza face” or “crater face.” Studies have shown that when acne clears, self-esteem also rises. Treatment can help prevent acne from getting worse. Without treatment, acne sometimes becomes severe and may leave permanent scars
Tip 2: Be cautious about reminding your teen to use acne treatment
It’s true that for treatment to work, your teen must use it. But because they are teenagers, daily parental reminders sometimes feel like nagging and may actually backfire. Fewer reminders may be more effective. Do help your teen keep all of their dermatology appointments. Studies have shown that teens are more likely to follow a treatment plan right before and after an appointment.
Tip 3: Reduce stress
Just about everything can be stressful during teenage years. Stress can cause acne to flare up, so do what you can to reduce stressful situations for your teen, encouraging physical activity, build into their schedules downtime to chill out, and share the importance of just taking a moment to pause and take a deep breath.
Tip 4: Watch for signs of depression
Acne can affect how teens feel about themselves and can lead to depression, anxiety or both. Watch for these signs:
- Sadness lasting 2 weeks or longer
- Loss of interest in activities your teen once enjoyed
- Avoiding social activities
If you spot any of these behaviors, seek professional counseling to help you help your teen. At some point, once you are confident your teen is ready, consider seeing a dermatologist for acne treatment.
Tip 5: Let your teen have the freedom to meet with the dermatologist alone
Allowing your teen the opportunity to meet with the dermatologist without you in the room can help the doctor find out what your teen wants, develop a treatment plan that makes sense to the teen, and create a trusting medical relationship that will make it more likely that your teen will follow treatment regimens and keep follow-up appointments.
Water’s Edge dermatologists can treat your teen’s acne and help prevent new breakouts from occurring, with several treatment options customized to meet your teen’s needs. Click here to request an appointment Request an appointment.