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Acne: Causes and Cures

     Acne is common among teens - 73% of teens between the ages of 12 and 19 have problems with acne. The cause of acne is heredity which determines skin type. During puberty hormones cause the oil glands in ones skin to become more active and this can produce blackheads and pimples.

     For mild acne, a teen should wash their face daily to help keep pores open and remove oil. Also, washing their hair gets rid of excess oil around the face. For acne on the back, you teen should use an antibacterial soap and back scrub brush. For more sever cases of acne where washing isn't enough, you should go see you physician or a dermatologist that will be able to prescribe gels, lotions and oral medications to help with the acne.

     It is important for you as a parent to not think that you teen will simply grow out of their acne. If acne is left untreated it can cause scars, cysts and emotional problems that affect self-esteem. It is important that you get your teen help as soon as possible.

Teenage Acne Angst

     If your teen is experiencing problems with acne - whatever you do, don't respond by telling then "Everyone your age has that problem," or "It doesn't matter; it will go away eventually." When you say it doesn't matter, you are saying his or her feelings about it don't matter either and discounting their feeling, not giving them the respect that they deserve. Teens want to know that you really understand how badly they feel.

     To help them to realize that you understand what they are going through share some of your own memories as a teenager - for example talk to them about a time when you felt ugly or embarrassed as a teen. You could also gently point out that probably many of their peers their age have the same problem they do, and may feel the same way.

     You should also try and comfort them by informing them that skin problems are normal and are not permanent - that during adolescence nearly every part of the body is affected by hormone changes. Because the skin is such a large organ of our bodies it is bound to be affected. Also, inform your teen that eating right, drinking water and keeping clean will help, as will safe, over-the-counter remedies. A trip to the dermatologist could also be considered.

     It is important for your teen to know that people care about them as a person - not just because of their appearances. To do so - pay compliments that aren't overly generalized (i.e., smart, nice, cool). Give you teen specifics about what you think makes them awesome.

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