Do you have acne issues? Are you a parent with an acne prone teenager? If your answer is yes, you may want to read this blog. Teens usually do not listen to their parents when it comes to their skin. Maybe after reading this, they’ll get a little better about skin care. Teenagers from ages 12 to 17 are affected, at least occasionally, by acne. It is by far the most common skin complaint in this age group.
Acne at any level should be taken very seriously, especially by teenagers. Moderate to severe scarring can become a problem in teenagers with untreated acne. (Scarring comes from picking and spreading the bacteria of the pimples causing more breakouts and damaging the skin.) In turn, the scars left behind can cause emotional pain and discomfort in social situations. My clients that are parents of acne prone teenagers often tell me how embarrassed their teen is of their skin; most of the time it’s because they didn’t get the acne treated in time.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It protects and covers the body, is waterproof, bacteria proof, and it self-repairs when it is injured. Your skin, hair and nails are a reflection of your state of health. Skin is repairable, but is not replaceable, so take care of the skin you’re in.
Diet also plays a major role in how skin behaves. You must eat a balanced diet in order for your body to function properly. The old saying “you are what you eat” is true in my opinion. So avoid fast food, junk food, fried, & fatty foods. You breakout areas will definitely show of you are eating these kinds of foods. (The cheek area is usually where digestive breakouts occur)
Our bodies must process everything we eat. All waste is not eliminated in the same manner and many things are eliminated through our skin. Take garlic for example. If you eat a meal that is full of garlic, the next day the scent of garlic can often be smelled on your skin. Brewers Yeast is another example. Brewers Yeast is a rich source of the B-complex vitamins, which tend to have a very strong scent. Many doctors and pharmacists recommend taking this product in high quantities during summer to avoid mosquito bites. B-vitamins are water soluble, so anything your body does not use will be eliminated through your skin or in your urine. Even though you will not be able to detect the scent on your skin, mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell and they will stay off you because it. These two items are perfect examples of our body eliminating through our skin. In the same manner, many other foods can affect our bodies in the same way.
Drinking plenty of fluids is extremely important for healthy skin. Water is most important because it aids in the digestion and absorption of food. Water is also responsible for carrying nutrients to the skin and waste away from the cells, as well as regulating body temperature.
Eating a low-fat diet is recommended for healthy skin. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is best since they are loaded with antioxidants which help to keep the skin supple and nourished. Include regular exercise along with diet to increase blood flow to the skin. Increased blood flow to the surface of the skin not only gives you the appearance of a healthy glow, it also helps clean and repair the skin tissues.
Another major culprit responsible for acne flare-ups is airborne grease. Working in a fast food restaurant can be harder on your skin than eating at one. If you work at a fast food establishment there are steps you can take to help keep your skin clean and clear: If possible, wash your face a couple of times a day with a mild cleanser and warm water (not hot) to remove surface oils and dead skin cells. Never scrub your skin hard, especially with an abrasive cleanser. One cause of acne is oily buildup, not dirt, so scrubbing hard won’t help and can actually irritate the skin and further inflame your acne. If you do not have access to a sink, but still want to clean the oil from your face, there are several different face-cleansing cloths available on the market that you can use.
Shampoo your hair regularly. Keep in mind to avoid oily shampoos, hair gels, and conditioners, as these products can transfer from your hair to your face during the day or at night while you sleep and cause problems with your skin.
Stop touching your face! Many people touch their face continually during the day for many reasons. If you are studying, do not rest your hands on your face while you look down at your books. Every time you touch your face you transfer all sorts of germs and bacteria from all the doorknobs, money, etc. that you have touched during the day.
Here is something a lot of people do not think of very often. If you use a phone a lot, keep the receiver off your face. The dirt and germs that build up on the phone, along with the constant friction against your face, can cause breakouts in key areas such as the chin. If being on the phone all day ”is” your job, see if your boss will spring for an inexpensive headset to help the problem.
For the girls: Never use oil-based makeup or other products. Check the labels of everything you use and if oil is an ingredient, throw it away! Look for products with non-comedogenic, water-based, and oil -free on the label. If you have oily skin and you use a pressed powder, be sure to look for one with oil control… and be sure to wash your powder pad often.
For the boys: If you have started to shave your face, always use a sharp razor. Old razors with dull blades will drag across your skin and cause rashes and irritation.
Do not think that just because you have oily skin you do not need to use a moisturizer. Your skin can be oil rich, but moisture dry, so find a light moisturizer that works for you. You need to balance out the moisture levels in your skin. If it has enough moisture, the oil glands will not produce as much.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, be sure to wear an oil-free sunscreen, such as a gel or light lotion. Gel and light lotion sunscreens will not aggravate your acne and will help you avoid skin cancer in your adult years. If you are currently seeing a dermatologist, some skin treatments can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear your sunscreen if you are outside. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about the treatment you are receiving and how it relates to sun exposure. Something else to keep in mind regarding the sun and how it affects your skin: sunburn is your skins way of saying it has been injured, but so is a tan. When your skin browns or reddens, is using its defense mechanism by producing melanin. Melanin acts as a protective biological shield against ultraviolet radiation. By doing this, your skin is trying to prevent sunburn damage that could lead to melanoma later in life. So be careful if you are a sun worshiper, you will regret it later in life when the wrinkles caused by sun damage start to appear.
And most importantly: If you do have a pimple, do not squeeze it or pick at it. Picking or squeezing pimples only irritates the tissue more and increases your chance of getting scars. Only qualified skin professionals (dermatologists or estheticians) can safely remove pimples without causing more harm.
If you would like to help you teen’s acne issue, feel free to contact me for more information.