Acne can be an extremely difficult medical challenge for children, teens, and adults. And let me be straight here: there is almost always something we can do to make it better. You don’t have to accept untreated acne as the end game. If you think acne is an issue of vanity, I urge you to read on. Acne can have enduring emotional and psychological consequences. Doing something now to support someone you know and love with acne can be powerful advocacy.
I’ve seen teens who worry about their acne be errantly categorized as having a concern for an appearance issue or be questioned about their “vanity” … when in reality, acne commonly causes real self-esteem issues and significant stress. Acne is a medical condition and many teens can use affordable, regular treatments that improve appearance, health, and well-being. Rarely, acne can cause disfiguring acne lesions, pox, or leave life-long scars. So approaching a plan for acne always makes sense. As long as anyone around a teen (or even an adult) treats acne as a vanity issue we’ll be under-supporting people and patients who don’t like the acne on their face or chest or back (or all of the above). No question early treatment of acne can prevent emotional distress. No question this is a medical condition.
Our face, and the skin on it, can at times feel like our largest presentation to the world despite how much stronger who we are — at the level of our soul — really matters. Practically speaking though, the biggest organ in our body is our skin and it does play the lead role at times in our life, especially when it’s not what we want it to be. When we have acne it can at times cause us to feel uncomfortable physically (big pimples really do hurt!) but also, emotionally.
The good news is that although the far majority of teens (75-80%) have acne lesions at some point, there are lots of ways to treat and even cure acne.
Here is a lively podcast I did with pediatric dermatologist, Dr. Markus Boos. He’s an awesome and super smart dermatologist. We bust myths, review Pediatrics guidelines, and highlight ways to treat teen acne.