Helping Teenagers Deal With Acne: A Parent’s Guide

Did you know that an estimated 80% of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 deal with acne outbreaks?*

Do you remember when you got your first breakout? Teenage years are challenging for both kids and parents, and watching your child suffer through the anxiety caused by pimples can be frustrating if you’re not sure how to help them. Helping teenagers deal with acne takes a bit of research and some trial and error. Here are 6 steps you can take toward alleviating your teen’s acne woes.

Learn about the causes of acne.

Nearly all teens struggle with acne to varying degrees. It is usually during puberty when the first signs of breakouts begin to appear, beginning as early as age nine.

When hormones go into overdrive, they stimulate the sebaceous glands. This causes oily skin, which increases the chances of breakouts.

Luckily, most kids grow out of their acne. In the meantime, help keep it under control by researching acne facts and debunking the myths.

Start treatment at first sign of breakouts.

The earlier you teach your teen a basic skincare routine, the better. Even though acne isn’t caused by a lack of cleansing, keeping skin clean will reduce oil and shine and can help fight the formation of blackheads.

Don’t wait until your child’s acne becomes severe to seek treatment. Start your teen on an over-the-counter acne cleanser at the first sign of small blemishes.

It’s much easier to clear a mild breakout than it is to control severe acne, so catching it early will save your teen a lot of frustration and prevent scarring.

Open the lines of communication with your teen.

If you’ve noticed your teen has breakouts that are getting worse, there’s no doubt that it has been weighing on their mind as well.

Don’t wait for your teen to ask for help, take the first step to open the lines of communication.

Wait until the right time to approach him or her–not while rushing out the door to work or school. Be mindful not to come off judgemental, but do be direct. Saying something like, “I’ve come up with a plan to start you on an acne treatment,” will be received better than, “It’s no wonder you have pimples with the amount of makeup you wear!” Remember that acne can be demoralizing for a teenager, so don’t downplay their feelings.

Explore treatment options.

The number of treatment options can seem overwhelming and can leave you wondering where to begin.

If your child’s acne is fairly mild, over-the-counter products may be all he or she needs.

For more stubborn cases of acne, prescription medications generally offer better results.If necessary, see a dermatologist.

If necessary, see a dermatologist.

If over-the-counter products aren’t providing any relief after 10-12 weeks of use, then you know it’s time to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Acne may be a natural part of puberty, but it doesn’t mean your teen needs to suffer more than necessary.

If your teen’s acne is severe, you’ll want to do what you can to prevent scars that could last a lifetime. A dermatologist will evaluate your child’s skin to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Be there for moral support.

A little reassurance can go a long way when it comes to helping your son or daughter deal with pimple problems. Acne can affect your teen’s confidence and prevent them from doing things they once loved in an effort to hide their breakouts.

You can help your child overcome the insecurity caused by acne by offering your moral support and being involved in their treatment. Help them find areas where they can really shine.

No matter how severe, acne often feels like a huge catastrophe to a teenager who is feeling the pressure to look perfect. By supporting your child to be involved in activities like sports, clubs or volunteer work, their self-esteem develops from their innate talents and abilities, and suddenly those pimples aren’t the end of the world.

Source: What is Acne? National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Participate in a Research Study

Austin area residents: are you or someone you know struggling with skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, or rosacea? Participating in a research study provides an opportunity to be involved in the process of discovering new treatments while receiving compensation for time and travel. Inquire about eligibility by calling DermResearch at 512-349-0500 or view our current studies.