If your teenager has been struggling with acne, it is a good idea to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist. Various treatment options are available and the doctor can determine which is best for your child.
Alongside professional care, there are ways to prevent acne flare-ups or at least reduce the severity. Here are seven measures a teenager with acne-prone skin should take to keep acne under control.
1. Keep Acne-Prone Skin Clean
If your teenage son or daughter has acne, it is imperative to keep the skin clean. Washing daily with a formulated acne wash will rid the skin of oils and dirt, which clog pores and contribute to break-outs. At the same time, it is also important not to strip the skin of its natural moisture. For this reason, it is best to avoid soaps that tend to dry the skin and stick to the organic moisturizing cleansers.
Also, teens with acne should not use harsh irritants such as loofah sponges. Using a gentle motion with a soft washcloth is best. Equally important, one should wash their hands before using an acne cleanser or facial wash.
2. Never Pop or Squeeze Pimples
Some teens may be self-conscious about their acne and tempted to pick at their blemishes. This can be harmful and cause scarring or even infection. Picking at skin blemishes may also spread bacteria and make the condition worse.
3. Ask the Dermatologist for Prescription Acne Medication
If routine washing and over-the-counter acne preparations do not seem to bring results, it is time to seek a professional opinion. A dermatologist who specializes in teenage acne issues can recommend a course of treatment designed for your child's needs. Upon discussion, the doctor may write a prescription for a stronger acne medication.
Most commonly, prescription-strength medications that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be recommended. These medications keep the skin pores free of clogs. Also, because acne-prone skin is often irritated and sensitive, prescription medications also may help fight inflammation and inhibit the growth of bacteria.
If the teen has developed an infection due to acne, a prescription for oral antibiotics may be given. In addition, a topical antibiotic ointment or cream may be used to kill germs on the skin.
4. Keep a Food Diary
Occasionally, consuming certain foods may contribute to acne flare-ups. For this reason, it is advisable to keep a journal and write down when these flare-ups have taken place. Was it a few days after indulging in fried and fatty foods? Perhaps scarfing down those chocolate-covered cherries or Valentine chocolates contributed to a break-out. Write down dates and keep notes that may provide insight.
If you notice that binge eating burgers and fries while cramming for exams causes an increase in acne, it may be time to stay away from fast food altogether.
5. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is very important for controlling acne. Ensuring adequate water intake can help combat the effects of acne naturally. Consuming the recommended eight glasses of water per day will help to flush toxins from the body. These toxins can mess with the balance of one's skin and make acne worse.
6. Read Labels on Cosmetics
Some cosmetics contain harsh ingredients that clog pores and disrupt the skin's natural pH levels. Your teen should also avoid perfumes and colognes, as many contain the same harsh chemicals. Look for makeup that is labeled as natural or organic. Also, use products that have been dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin.
7. Get Adequate Rest and Avoid Stress
Lack of sleep and stress are not good for one's health under any circumstances, and it may worsen the condition of acne. Studies have shown that stress may produce more oils on the skin, which may clog the pores and aggravate acne-prone skin. Teens should try relaxation techniques, exercise more, or take up a beneficial hobby to chill out and reduce stress.
As a final thought, discuss concerns with a dermatologist. They may change prescriptions or recommend an alternate option that brings positive results. Contact us at Calais Dermatology Associates for more information.