6 Strategies for Taming Teenage Acne

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Acne can profoundly impact self-esteem at any age, especially during the vulnerable teenage years. If your teen tells you that his acne doesn't bother him, be aware that he may be simply putting on a brave face. If you suspect that your teen's acne is affecting his quality of life by impairing social or academic activities, try opening the conversation in a low-key, non-judgmental way, and ask whether he'd be interested in consulting a dermatologist.

Stop the cycle of blame

Acne is not due to dirty skin, poor skin care habits or even, in most cases, what you eat. Some sufferers may have inherited a predisposition to acne, which is worsened by hormonal changes during adolescence and by stress. Acne is a treatable skin disease. It's vital to start effective treatment for acne while it's still in an early stage, to prevent the development of permanent scarring, which can lead to a lifetime of low self-esteem.

Keep it simple

Burgeoning social activities make simple, easily portable skincare regimes a must for teenage acne sufferers. If you wish to try over-the-counter acne products first, Neutrogena has a line that is reasonably priced although it may be too drying for some skins. A major advantage of prescription acne treatment is that it can be individualized for oily, dry or sensitive skins.

Remove acne triggers

Is your teen applying something to his face that is triggering or worsening his acne? Sunscreens, should be non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and provide broad spectrum sun protection.

Sports helmets and other headgear can also promote acne. If your teen is shaving, it's better to wet-shave than to use an electric razor, and to shave only in the direction of hair growth, even though this gives a less close shave than moving the razor in different directions.

Hide signs of acne

For many acne sufferers, it's empowering to be able to cover up the acne and to go about your daily activities without being defined or judged by your skin. ColoreScience is a medical-grade mineral make-up, available from doctors' offices, that is compatible with prescription acne therapy and may even improve acne in some cases due to the anti-inflammatory effect of its ingredients.

Learn about new procedures

Ask your dermatologist about new in-office procedures for acne, such as DermaSweep MD, a multi-step crystal-free microdermabrasion system that exfoliates, extracts whiteheads and blackheads, then infuses your skin with acne-fighting salicylic and glycolic acid. Acne lasers target and kill the bacteria that causes acne. Another option is the Vitalize chemical peel, an effective combination of fruit acids.