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Talk to Your Child About Teen Acne

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Updated October 21, 2008

Bringing up the subject of teen acne may be difficult for both you and your child. While acne is a normal part of growing up, it may be a serious and painful problem for your teen. Your child may not know how to ask for help. It is up to you to open up a dialogue with your child about their acne.
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Here's How:

  1. Broach the subject gently. Your child is likely upset or uncomfortable about his acne. Reassure him that you love him just as he is, and you would like to help him feel better about his skin. Explain that while acne is a common and temporary problem, treatment options are available to help control breakouts and speed healing.

  2. Don't be surprised if he/she doesn't want to talk. Your child may feel awkward discussing his problem with you, especially if his acne embarrasses him. Understand that even if he acts indifferent, his acne may still bother him. Even if your teen seems unconcerned, you should continue forward with treatment. Left untreated acne may worsen and lead to scarring of the skin and self-esteem.

  3. Listen without judgment. If your teen does open up to you, acknowledge and respect his feelings. Don't be surprised if he has strong feelings about his skin. Even if you don't think his acne is that serious, realize that it is a big deal to your teen. Try not to belittle their views. Even mild acne can be upsetting and damaging to a teen's self-esteem.

  4. Help your child explore treatment options. Learn the facts about acne together. Find out why acne occurs, and how it can be treated. Helping your child separate acne fact from fiction will go a long way in helping improve their skin. Knowledge is an empowering tool.

  5. Encourage your teen to take responsibility for his or her treatment. Explain that while you are always there to help, ultimately it is his job to follow through with his acne treatments. Try not to pester him about his acne. Sometimes the more you push, the harder they pull away.

    Give your child the knowledge and tools necessary to treat his skin and then walk away. Realize you can't force him to use medications. It is his skin, and must be his responsibility. Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do as parents is let our child make his own decisions.

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