Severe teen acne can have a huge effect on body image and self-esteem. Learn the best ways to help you teenager deal with their acne.
Most of us are glad to see the back of our adolescent years. But for parents, they get to relive its horrors all over again when their kids go through it.
Around 85% of teenagers struggle with acne during adolescence. It's a problem that can affect mental and physical wellbeing. Parents whose kids are suffering from severe acne can feel a little powerless.
That's why we've put together this parent's survival guide to dealing with severe teen acne.
Honestly, this should be step 1 in most problems your kids face: acknowledge the problem and talk about it.
Conversation is basically the magical cure for shame and embarrassment. It might be difficult at first. But after the initial awkwardness, those feelings soon vanish. It's the refusal to talk about problems which makes them scary.
By starting a conversation, you can acknowledge there's a problem, discover your child's feelings, and work out how you can help them. Talking is the human superpower, so it's by far the best way to go about helping your teen.
You can use this dialogue to approach most of the tips below.
Change It Up
For sufferers of severe teen acne, it can feel like there's no relief.
And it's true you can't completely cure acne with a few lifestyle changes. But there are things both you and your teen can do to reduce breakouts.
Some of the best solutions for acne problems are dietary. As a parent, you're usually in control of your teen's major meals, so try to shift them toward fresh ingredients and cut down on processed foods. Some research suggests steering clear of dairy could help.
Of course, you aren't there all the time. Discuss what else your teen eats in a day and encourage them to swap to healthier snacks.
Scientists have also picked out stress as a contributor to acne problems. Teens are under plenty of mental and physical stress, so find out what's weighing on your teen and see if you can build more stress relief into their life.
Exercise and fresh air do a lot to keep our minds and bodies healthy, so encourage your teen to get outdoors - and try to practice what you preach. It's a chance to bond and get some exercise yourself.
Help With Hygiene
Changing up your teen's hygiene habits can also yield improvement in cases of severe teen acne.
Try to stay away from the basics (and the cliches) like suggesting they don't wash properly. Unless you're genuinely concerned about their hygiene routine, then all you're doing is offering insulting and unhelpful advice.
If you want to broach this subject without insulting them, offer to show them your daily cleansing routine. You've probably picked up a few good tips over the years, and you can share things you've learned from your research.
Also, encourage your teen to make use of creams designed to reduce the discomfort of acne. Acne products can leave the skin dry, so you can also suggest moisturizing with a low-impact product. Try to stay away from anything too perfumed.
One of the biggest mistakes teens can make is to pick or dig at their acne. That's a short-cut to infection and permanent scarring, so make sure they're equipped to deal with any discomfort as it appears.
Be a Grown-Up
The absolute, 100% worst thing you can do for your teen is to make fun of their appearance.
Teens feel like a disgusting blob of ungainly hair at the best of times. Make fun of their acne, and they'll feel like something from the works of HP Lovecraft.
This doesn't mean you should shower your teen with false compliments. They'll see right through that. If in doubt, stick to the old adage: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
The only major exception here is that you should acknowledge and discuss the problem as a way of dealing with it. But you need to approach this neutrally. Basically, be an adult about it.
Deal With Bullies
Most of us could deal with severe teen acne if we could quarantine ourselves away. It's the social element that truly turns it into a nightmare.
Despite being an almost universal teen experience, acne is a giant "bully me" sign in school. After all, kids love to project their insecurities.
There are two major things you can do to tackle the potential for bullying at school. First, create a dialogue with your teen. Help them feel like they can talk about bullying and how it affects them. You need to know about a problem before you can resolve it.
Second, if you do see a significant problem then don't be afraid to approach the school authority. Involve your teen in this process so they don't feel you're going into 'parent mode'. Most schools have anti-bullying policies in some form and will be happy to engage with you.
Don't Go It Alone
Here's a fact teens often forget: you don't have to do everything alone.
That goes for both of you. If your teen is struggling and you've exhausted all options, don't be afraid to seek professional help.
Seeing a dermatologist for the physical side of acne could turn things around. Everyone's body is unique, so they'll be able to offer tips that could reduce outbreaks.
If you identify a severe mental condition brought on by your teen's acne, seeing a counselor could offer them an outlet and some advice for dealing with complex emotions.
Finding professional help also equips teens for later life. Learning to get help for problems you'd rather sweep under the carpet is an important life lesson. It teaches that embarrassment won't solve anything, but that solutions are available to people who open up.
Dealing with Severe Teen Acne
Dealing with acne will always be something of a waiting game. Your teen will probably grow out of it, but by following the above tips you can offer advice and tips that might reduce its negative impact.
Want to know more? Why not contact us?