As soon as your kids enter puberty, skin problems such as acne may become common. They may complain of breakouts or oiliness. They may even talk about “feeling ugly” because of this problem.
But they don’t just have to bear their acne problem stoically; something can be done to solve it.[pq]Acne is a skin condition that results from the interaction of certain hormones, bacteria, and other substances on the oil glands and hair follicles.[/pq]
This results in the clogging of pores and the eruption of any of the following – whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules (skin bumps containing some pus), or cysts (deep pimples). Acne occurs in parts of the skin where there are many oil glands, such as the face, chest, and back.
Its exact causes are unknown, but several factors are believed to contribute to its development. These include the overproduction of hormones (as happens in puberty and pregnancy), genetics (if you had acne when you were younger, your kids are likely to have acne too), the intake of certain medicines, and the use of certain substances (like highly greasy cosmetics).
If already present, a number of factors could make acne worse. These include:
- In girls, hormonal changes associated with the start of the menstrual period
- Oil or grease from skin products
- Pollution, and other irritants present in the environment
- Constant touching and squeezing of pimples
As mentioned, acne is not usually associated with a serious health problem, but it may lead to problems with self-image. If left untreated, acne may lead to scarring, which may be more emotionally troubling to your kids. A visit to the dermatologist may be very helpful.
But you can also instill in your kids certain hygienic habits to lessen the severity of outbreaks:
- Teach them to wash their faces twice a day with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser.
- Tell them not to scrub their faces too harshly or with the use of a washcloth. This could further irritate the skin.
- In choosing skin products (including lotions), look for something that is “oil-free”.
- Make them keep their hair neat and away from their faces.
- Keep their hands off their faces.