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Talking to Young Girls About Menstruation

The Adonis Complex

The Teen Health Book: A Parents Guide to Adolescent Health and Well Being

The Good Skin Doctor: A Dermatologist's Guide to Beating Acne


by Tania K. Cowling 

 Think back to your teen years when you were standing in front of a mirror staring at the huge pimple on your face.  When you were growing up, your parents may have told you that acne was a rite of passage, a sign of growing up.  And yet, you've tried everything--but no matter what you did, the pimples kept coming back.  How did you feel?

The truth is that acne can affect an adolescent's self-image and cause emotional problems.  Research has shown that acne (even a mild case) can be associated with a wide variety of social and psychological problems.  Unlike adults, adolescents are more sensitive to their appearance and how their peers see them.  This is especially true in a society where the media (TV, magazines, and advertising) place such a major emphasis on attractiveness.  It's not hard to spot a young adult who may be troubled by visible pimples.  As a parent, you may see some of these telltale signs from your daughter or son.


       Reluctance to "go out" and socialize with friends.

       Lack of attention to schoolwork.

       More than usual problems at home or with family relationships.

       More difficulties than normal at their job (part-time, after school, or weekends).

       If your child is experiencing any of these problems, it could be a sign of depression or anxiety associated with acne.



 The most important thing to remember is to take your child's feelings seriously.  If you had teenage acne, relate to how it made you feel and let your child know that you are there for support.


       Explain that they are not alone; millions of teens throughout time have struggled with acne.

       They should not feel guilty or embarrassed, as acne is normal.  It's an unfortunate part of growing up.  Factors that lead to acne are age, heredity, stress, and hormonal changes.

       It usually is a temporary condition that goes away once they reach adulthood.

       Urge that they not be influenced by the undue emphasis that society places on looks: who you are as a person is far more important than your cosmetic appearance.

       Most important, to regain your child's self-esteem and confidence, take him or her to a medical professional for advice and treatment.



 Some people believe that acne is caused by poor diet (eating fried and sweet foods). Lots of washing and scrubbing will make them go away.  There is no clinical data on these statements.




       Wash with mild soap and water.

       Keep hair off the face as much as possible to prevent oils from remaining on the skin.

       Shampoo regularly.  This may prevent acne near the hairline.

       Try over the counter skin products that have a drying agent in them such as benzoyl peroxide.

       Don't let them pick or "pop" pimples.  This can injure skin and underlying tissues.

       If these measures do not help with acne improvement, consult your physician who may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics.





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