Acne is a hereditary condition, so if either parent suffered from dramatic acne as a teen it is likely that their child will, as well. It is important for all young children, starting as young as seven or eight, to learn good skin care habits. It is wise to start out with instilling a simple regimen of gentle cleansing, hydration and protection. Parents may need to assist children and young teens in the cleansing process and application of treatment and hydrating products. It is wise to keep this very simple at first, so as not to overwhelm younger patients with too many steps or complicated regimens.
In addition to establishing good skin care habits, is important to take into consideration the unique aspects of the adolescent lifestyle and their often limited life experiences. Many teens may not have developed proper hygiene habits, such as not showering or bathing after sports or physical activity. Some teens may be over-treating their skin, with the misguided information that they need to “dry out” their acne, which could be resulting in an overproduction of sebum and impaired barrier function, worsening the condition. It is also common for teenage girls experiencing acne to apply heavy foundation to cover up blemishes, so it is important to discuss these aspects with your young patients. Also, cell phones can collect bacteria, so it is also important to instruct the child to use an alcohol wipe to clean off the cellphone, or use earbuds in lieu of holding the device up to the face. Oftentimes, a simple change in daily routine can make a huge difference in the health of their skin and accelerate results.