Far from merely a rite of passage or a minor cosmetic issue, the impact of teenage acne can have serious, long-lasting psychological consequences, emphasises Joha-Nel Van Zyl, Founder of the aesthetic boutique clinic, Eximia Belle.
Notably, numerous studies have shown a clear link between teenage acne and social withdrawal, poor self-esteem, depression and anxiety. According to the National Library of Medicine the psychological impact of acne and its effects on quality of life can be profound – even comparable to severe chronic diseases such as asthma, epilepsy and arthritis. Further, self-esteem issues can last well into adulthood, particularly if acne is mistreated, it can leave the skin permanently scarred.
“With acne being so common, it is easy for parents to shrug it off as a passing phase without understanding how severely it may be impacting the lives of their teenage children. The reality is that these concerns must be taken seriously.
“And unfortunately, even well-meaning parents can add to their children’s woes by subjecting them to ineffective or even damaging home remedies such as shoe polish, lemon juice, dishwashing liquid or bicarb,” says Van Zyl.
To better manage acne, Van Zyl suggests following these five steps:
1. LEAVE YOUR SKIN ALONE
Do not pick your skin or pop your pimples as this can lead to even more bacteria on the skin, unintentionally causing even more pimples. Picking at your skin can also make your pores more noticeable, increase the chances of pockmarks on your skin or worse, cause permanent scars.
2. REFRAIN FROM PORE-BLOCKING PRODUCTS
Avoid oil-based makeup and greasy hair products and use non-comedogenic (does not block skin pores) facial products, including face washes, moisturisers and sunscreen, as well as makeup. Most products that are non-comedogenic state so on their packages. Keep in mind to clean your make-up brushes and sponges on a regular basis.
3. CLEANSE SKIN TWICE A DAY
Be sure to remove all make-up before going to bed. Washing your skin is crucial in your overall acne care plan, but the frequency and technique are equally vital. Twice a day is more than enough – anything more can lead to dry skin, which can cause more breakouts. Use warm water and avoid rubbing your face when washing or drying as this will irritate your skin. Instead, gently pat your face down.
4. EXFOLIATE ONCE A WEEK
Aside from morning and night washes, weekly exfoliation can also help to keep acne breakouts at bay. Please visit your skin care expert for advice on the correct exfoliator for your skin. Professional skin care treatments monthly can also contribute to your skin’s overall health.
5. DRINK WATER AND MIND YOUR DIET
The types of foods we eat play a huge role in how our bodies develop. Certain meals can even contribute to acne breakouts, such as dairy, high-glycaemic foods (sugar dense) and processed items. To stay hydrated and keep your skin healthy, you must consume between six to eight glasses of water daily.
Should your acne persist despite following these steps, it may be worthwhile to consider visiting a dermatologist or skin clinic such as Eximia Belle to get professional help, as people often require assistance to manage their acne.
And while acne can be tough on self-esteem, teenagers should not be discouraged – acne is treatable with the right skincare regimens or skin clinic interventions.