Acne is a common skin condition that affects adolescents, teenagers, and even adults. If you’re a parent with young children approaching or experiencing puberty, chances are you may have to deal with acne at some point. The physical effects of acne are mild, but it can be linked to bullying and low confidence. As children get to the adolescent phase and become teenagers, they tend to be more conscious of their looks and how others perceive them. As a result, it can affect their positive body image.
What Causes Acne?
The exact causes of acne aren’t precisely clear. However, acne has some associations with hormones released during puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, cosmetics, the use of certain products, diet, and medications like corticosteroids, etc. A family history of acne can also increase one’s risk. Although it appears mainly on the face, acne can occur in other parts of the body, especially areas known to have more sebaceous glands, including the chest, neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Symptoms of Acne
It is understandable that a child who is self-conscious may find it difficult to talk about acne to their parent. Being able to talk about health is not easy for many children so we have some more general advice here. Below are the key symptoms to look out for.
- Small white (whiteheads) or skin-colored bumps
- Small dark-colored bumps (blackheads)
- Scars on the skin
- Pimples filled with pus that may be painful
- Solid elevated bumps on the skin
How To Help Your Child With Acne
- Watch out for signs of acne. Be on the lookout for signs of acne so you can begin treatment once you notice the symptoms, so they don’t get worse. If your child complains to you about pimples, examine the area and don’t just disregard their concerns because it’s just one or two bumps. Small blackheads on the nose or forehead are early indicators. Acne usually develops in adolescents from around 11 to 12 years for the first time, but you may notice it in children significantly younger. Regardless of when you first see the signs of acne on your child, early treatment and then proactive skin care will significantly reduce issues.
- Teach your children proper skin-care hygiene. Proper skin hygiene is essential to maintain nice-looking and healthy skin. Help your children develop the habit of cleaning their faces twice a day, especially at night after a long day of activity. They should do this with warm water and mild soap. Then there are several cheap daily cleansing lotions that clean the pores to use after.
- Start treatment early. Early treatment can be the difference between a few bumps and a severe breakout. Don’t be tempted to fall into the “it’ll get better by itself” thought. You’re simply allowing the pimples have a field day on your child’s face if you don’t do something about it immediately. It’s possible to manage acne, and you have a better chance of doing so if you start early. Even if your child doesn’t seem to care about having a few pimples, encourage them to do the needful and treat acne at its early stages.
- Say no to picking pimples. Many adults and children find it hard to resist picking or popping a juicy-looking pimple on their face. While that may seem like a good idea, it isn’t. You shouldn’t pick your spots if you want to get rid of them. When you do so, you cause your skin to be more inflamed because the infected matter goes deeper into your skin. Explain to your child why popping or picking a pimple is a bad idea. You may have to remind or correct them if you catch them in the act but do so gently. Make them understand that the habit of pimple-picking will only make the condition worse by causing redness, scars, and more breakouts. If they’re able to keep their hands off their face, it’ll do them a lot of good.
- Get treatment products for mild acne. Over-the-counter creams or products help with acne. Many studies show that price is not linked to effectiveness so don’t be put off buying own brand versions in supermarkets as they have the same concentration of the key chemicals. The most common product used as a treatment is probably benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is effective because it kills the bacteria responsible for acne. This product should be applied to the affected areas after cleansing every day. You can stick to using it once in two days if you notice redness, dryness, or irritation.
- Avoid too much make-up. Young girls, especially teenagers, are at the stage where they want to experiment with make-up or cosmetics. Sometimes, they’re so excited to have access to these products; they may request to do so even at a young age. While make-up makes young girls look pretty and cool, they also block pores on the face. Encourage your child not to use so much make-up or do so often. Teach them to be comfortable and confident with their natural look so that make-up will be a rare thing. Also, skin-care hygiene comes to play here. Encourage your children to wipe it off their faces and use their regular cleansing and moisturizing product.
- See a dermatologist. You may be lucky, and purchasing some over-the-counter products will do the trick for your child. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. If you notice the breakouts persist or get worse, you should see a dermatologist. In particular, if your child is feeling anxious or depressed about it. A general practitioner or dermatologist is able to prescribe drugs, however, these can have significant side effects so don’t try and buy these over the internet. You may have to go for follow-up appointments depending on the severity of the case.
Final Thoughts on How to Help Your Child With Acne
Acne is common, and it affects a large number of adolescents and teenagers. If your child freaks out about having pimples, tell them that it’s a familiar and routine thing to experience and that it can be fixed. Relate that it happened to you and all other adults as evidence that it does go away.
Regular hygienic skin practices can help prevent or manage breakouts. If your child has a severe issue that won’t budge regardless of what you’ve tried, speak to a dermatologist and follow their advice and prescriptions.