“Adolescence can be a tough time – especially on your teen’s skin! Almost 8 out of 10 teenagers will have acne at some point,” says Dr. Debbie Bauer, Pediatrician. This is because the changing hormones cause an increase in oil production and can lead to clogged pores. This can happen all over your child’s body, not just their face. And while acne isn’t dangerous for their health, it can cause scars and decrease their self-esteem.
Here are a few pointers for home care of your teen’s skin:
- Keep it clean: They should wash their face with warm water and a gentle cleanser twice per day. CeraVe, Cetaphil and Dove make reasonably-priced and effective cleansers.
- Be gentle: Harsh scrubbing or rough washcloths are not recommended. Your teen should be using just their hands to gently rub in the cleanser and rinse off. Very hot water or very cold water should not be used.
- Stick to the routine: Oily skin and acne can last for months or years, so it’s important to have a good skin routine to minimize the effects. Remind your teen to always remove make-up before sleeping. And change sheets and pillowcases frequently.
- Don’t pop pimples: Although it’s tempting, squeezing pimples will only make things worse. Not only will they introduce more oil onto their skin from their hands, but this will probably push the oil deeper into the skin and cause inflammation and swelling.
- Keep moisturizing: Drying out their face can actually lead to more acne because their body will try to produce even more oils to keep their face from being so dry. Make sure the moisturizer bottle says “oil free” or “noncomedogenic” on it so it doesn’t clog their pores more.
- Use sun block: This is important for every child, but especially for those with acne. The sun’s rays can irritate skin and make acne and scars much, much worse. Make sure the sunscreen is at least SPF 15.
Some kids even need prescription medication to help manage acne, and our NOAH Pediatricians are here to help with that too!
For more information about taking care of your skin, visit the American Academy of Dermatology: www.aad.org.