Teenage acne can cause anxiety, self-esteem issues and if mistreated it can leave the skin permanently scarred. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the psychological impact of acne can be profound, and persons with acne are at risk for substantial, negative effects on quality of life, like those seen in persons with asthma, epilepsy or arthritis.
“According to The National Institutes for Health, an estimated 80% of the population between 11 and 30 years of age have been affected by the skin disorder. With acne being so common it is easy for parents to shrug it off as a passing phase without understanding how it is impacting the lives of their teenage children, but the reality is these concerns must be taken seriously,” says Joha-Nel Van Zyl, Eximia Belle’s operations manager.
But even well-meaning parents can add to their children’s woes by subjecting them to home remedies such as the use of shoe polish, lemon juice or bicarb to treat acne, says Van Zyl.
To better manage acne, Van Zyl suggests following these six steps:
LEAVE YOUR SKIN ALONE
Do not pick your skin or pop your pimples because doing so pushes bacteria into the skin even further, unintentionally leading to even more pimples. Picking at your skin can also stretch out your pores, leading to pockmarks on your skin or worse permanent scars.
REFRAIN FROM PORE BLOCKING PRODUCTS
Avoid oil-based makeup and greasy hair products and use non-comedogenic (does not block skin pores) facial products, including face washes, moisturisers, and sunscreen, as well as makeup. Most products that are non-comedogenic state so on their packages.
WASH SKIN TWICE A DAY
Be sure to remove all makeup before going to bed. Washing your skin is important in your overall acne care plan, but the frequency and technique are equally vital. Twice a day is more than enough, anything more than that can lead to dry skin which can cause more breakouts. Use warm water and avoid rubbing your face when washing or drying as this will irritate your skin, instead gently pat your face down.
EXFOLIATE ONCE A WEEK
Aside from morning and night washes, weekly exfoliation can also help keep acne breakouts at bay. A mud mask is ideal for all types of acne, as it helps unclog your pores and get rid of dead skin cells.
AVOID TIGHT CLOTHING OR HATS
Sometimes you just want to hide your acne using hats or other tight clothing. However, this can aggravate acne by further trapping oils and bacteria into your skin. Choose loose, cotton clothing to allow your skin to breathe easily. If you are involved in sports or exercise, shower immediately after to keep your pores as clean as possible.
DRINK WATER AND MIND YOUR DIET
The types of foods we eat play a huge role in how our bodies develop. Certain meals can even contribute to acne breakouts, such as dairy, high-glycaemic foods (sugar dense) and processed items. To stay hydrated and keep your skin healthy, you must consume between 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Should acne persist despite following these steps then it may be worthwhile to consider going to a dermatologist or skin clinic to get professional help as some people often require assistance to manage their acne. And while acne can cause severe self-esteem issues, teenagers should not be discouraged, acne is treatable with the right skincare regimens or skin clinic interventions.