For Mother's Only! Signs that Your Teen Needs an Acne Treatment

For Mother's Only! Signs that Your Teen Needs an Acne Treatment

Not every pimple is acne. Pimples may be allergic hives, bites or even heat rash...just to name a few. So as a mother, how do you know it's time to seriously search for a safe and effective acne treatment for your fast growing teen? 

And Why should we really care about a few pimples? They should go away on their own when our teen gets our of puberty…. TESTIMONIALS

Wrong - first the average age of the acne sufferer in the US today is 26 years old. At this time we are NOT taking about  teen acne but adult hormonal acne. The average length of adult hormonal acne is … 11 years… ACNE GUIDE

So the first myth is that teen acne will disappear on its own. For a few lucky ones yes, however, for majority of teens it gets worse.  The longer acne persists the more likely the skin wil be damaged leading to acne scarring.  In addition, the long term psychological impact of acne may be devastating for a young person.  Unfortunately in today’s society this can lead to rejection, being bullied, loss of self esteem, social media criticism, and a lack of motivation to achieve.

Unfortunately the COVID pandemic exacerbated teen related issues and practically also increased the incidence of acne among teen and adults due to the need to wear masks. There is even a new term in use-“maskacne”.

So recognizing  the time when you can support your teen by helping him/her to fight acne and to rebuild  his/hers clear complexion and self image is very important 

Here are some basic red flags you should watch for:

Physical Signs

Acne usually develops and worsens over time. So the earlier you catch it, and start the right treatment, the faster you get rid of acne and thereby reducing the risk for long lasting skin damage such as acne scars and marks.

  1. Oily and shiny T-zone: a clearly shiny and oily forehead, nose and chin may be an early warning for the onset of acne
  2. Oily Skin overall: shiny, oily or very oily skin represents a clear warning sign for the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands leading to the development of  acne
  3. Oily hair usually preceeds or follows skin issues
  4. Blackheads and whiteheads: these represent an early stage of acne
  5. Redness, inflammation, pimples or cysts on cheeks, chin, back and/or shoulders: these represent fully developed acne   

Psychological Signs

Acne is not just a skin disease, but for many also a disease of the soul...or a major psychological problem. Even with mild acne, many teens feel embarrassed, alienated, rejected, angry or resigned. So when the physical symptoms above are paired with the psychological and behavioral signs below, it's time to get help.

  1. Withdrawal from sports and activities she/he loved before
  2. Phone time quiets down significantly
  3. Avoids social gatherings
  4. Schoolwork seems to slip 
  5. Seems sad, angry or unhappy without apparent reasons
  6. Complains about losing friends
  7. Suddenly develops a strong liking for heavy make-up
  8. Sleeps too much or to little (signs of depression)   

Getting Help

Please note that we are not recommending running out to get an acne treatment just because your teen has oily skin - or if your teen withdraws from activities. We are just letting you know about the combination of signs that are seen in pre-teens and teens that are developing acne. We do suggest keeping an eye out for these signs. And if you notice that some of the signs are getting worse, or that your child has number of these signs at once, it's high time to do something.  

What NOT to Use

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has clear standards for what should not be used as an acne treatment for younger teens. We recommend adhering to the AAP's guidelines for older teens as well.  There are many known side effects that occur in teens as a result of using the acne products listed below, so as parents, we would rather err on the side of caution.

  • Tetracycline derivatives (tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline) should not be used in younger children. Oral antibiotics can damage tooth enamel and developing bones in pre-teens. In addition the abuse of antibiotics may lead to penicillin resistance and in time limit or prevent treatment of more dangerous diseases. 
  • Isotretinoin (Accutane and its generic brands) should not be used for young teens due to its severe side effects, Please not that Accutane has already been withdrawn form USA and few other markets for its severe side effects and class action suit that was filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals.
  • Topical antibiotics should not be used for more than few weeks and should be combined with witch hazel or a very low grade Benzoyl Peroxide. Why the latest is used it is very important to make sure that the teen uses at least 30SPF sun protection wherever outdoors to avoid possible cancerogenic impact of Peroxide and UV rays combined.
  • No hormonal treatment of any kind, chemical or herbal, prescriptive or Over the Counter (OTC) should be used without a doctor’s advice
  • Any OTC products should be used with care and at the lowest possible level

Recommended Natural Teen Acne Treatment Options

Do your research! Yes, there are many natural ways to help calm acne symptoms, however, in order to get to the root cause of your acne, and to really get rid of it, you need a treatment that will not only eliminate symptoms, but also prevent them from developing. Dabbing honey, or putting argan oil on your face is not going to get rid of your acne! 

Acne Guide

So look into natural yet science based ways to treat acne that are safe and effective. We invite you to start by taking a look at AcnEase®, the original natural medicine for acne that has up to a 98% success rate not just for mild or moderate acne, but also for cystic, chronic and severe acne.  There are no side effects, no chemicals, no phyto-estrogens and it is all botanical and gluten and sugar free.

Teen Skincare

It may surprise you but healthy skincare for teens (both – girls and boys) may help a lot in easing the symptoms of acne and develop a great and important foundation for life to take care of your largest organ- SKIN.

Here are few skincare/ mecare tips how to help your teen

Feed the Skin. Add Some Skin Friendly Options for Your Teen’s Diet

Diet, of course, plays an important role in the way our skin looks. There are food choices that teens with acne can make which will definitely help to keep their bodies and skin healthy. Adding the right foods when possible can make a big impact for anyone battling hormones and acne. Fitting in hydrating, vitamin-rich snacks such as apples, protein-rich nuts, and even a bite of dark chocolate can go a long way in supplementing those at-school lunch options you may rely on every day. Try to avoid processed foods, “ junk food” and simple sugar ( donuts, white breads and rolls, cookies etc). There are also good food based multi-vitamins for kids and young teens as well as older teens which include many omega 3’s and antioxidants, great for the skin. Opting for water instead of sugary drinks is a must since sugar is our skin’s great enemy. And getting a sufficient amount of water will go a long way as well, hydrating not only the body, but also the skin’s cells. And juices are a BIG SUGAR SOURCE so need to be taken in moderation.

Don’t Let Regular Exercise Make Your Acne Worse.

Working out is great for the body, mind and skin as it gets the blood circulating, and the liver working to flush out harmful toxins. Teens are usually involved in number of exercise activities ( sports and recreational activities). These activities are great, because teens are already experiencing an increase in skin oil, it’s important to keep the surface of the skin clean after a sweaty workout or intense practice in order to prevent pores from clogging.

If your teen is involved in regular sports, make sure they're wearing loose, breathable fabrics, and pack a clean towel for them to dry off with after a shower. If an immediate shower isn’t always an option, non-comedogenic wipes can be easily carried in any bag, and can provide a way to clean their face in a pinch! Make sure to wash any clothing worn during exercise as soon as it comes off, especially anything touching the chest or back, such as sports bras. If a helmet or goggles are used, don’t forget to disinfect them after each use, as these can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Washing oily hair is an important step that shouldn’t be skipped, though hair products can be a hidden source of pore-clogging residue. Check the ingredients in shampoos, conditioners and stylers for anything that could aggravate acne, such as lanolin, or drying isopropyl alcohol, and chose those that add moisture with “good” oils, such as eucalyptus, which treat flakiness without making an oily mess.

Make Sure that Your Teen Gets in a Good Night’s Sleep.

This may be tough to implement, but a good night’s sleep is imperative in keeping both the immune system, and brain function operating at full capacity. Getting enough sleep is also an important part of maintaining healthy skin as it manages stress levels from within and helps reducing stress level and resulting  hormones  from  disrupting those sebum-producing sebaceous glands. Teens need a minimum of 8 - 8 1/2 hours of sleep, and they most often get around 7 hours. So try to get off those phones and iPad’s at night and suggest reading  a good book to help set the mood for a peaceful slumber!

Choose Skincare Products that Won’t Clog Pores or Over Dry Skin.

Even if your teen isn’t working up a good sweat every day, maintaining good skin hygiene is an essential aspect in maintaining healthy, acne-free skin.

Because teens tend to produce more skin oil (sebum) than adults, most products targeting teens are formulated to zap oil, using ingredients as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Athough topicals with these ingredients may help in the short term with symptoms, they may also dry out the skin, which causes the skin to produce more oil! Combined with UV rays they may also increase the probability of UV induced skin damage and finally- yes- they may prematurely age the skin. What is most important to understand is their use really does NOT STOP ACNE FROM Forming,  thus the acne cycle continues. Remember too, topicals cannot get to the root cause of acne since do not target sebaceous glands.

As a good skincare regimen, try a non-comedogenic acne cleanser and chamomile astringent for acne which can help calm the inflammatory and bacterial response of the skin. Remember about moisturizers – essential to keep the skin supple and happy (water based not oil based moisturizer please) And don't forget to add in the treatment that can break this cycle of acne the only way  that it can be done – from within (with no chemicals or side effects)! Here is a helpful tool that will quickly guide you to the right treatment for you or your teen: YOUR PERSONAL ACNEASE GUIDE

Exchange the Stress time to Me time!

Last but not least, leaving time for fun and relaxation can prove to be just as beneficial as a good night’s sleep or a skin brightening smoothie, Finding little ways to help your teen de-stress can not only make their days a little easier, but may also encourage them to keep up with the maintenance needed to keep their skin looking its best. Getting a manicure, pedicure or a massage might be a nice way for relaxing and feeling all grown-up. If the COVID pandemic prevents in person socializing- a zoom party may be of help.  If you are lucky to own a home with a garden or live near a park or a hiking trail get your walking shoes ready and “drag” your teen along or invite them for any type of scrimmage or fun activities from card game- to tossing the ball or kayaking.

With the promise of Clear Skin

 Dr Agnes

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