How to Talk to Your Child About Acne
Discussing acne with your kids isn’t always easy — here are some tips to help you broach the subject.
Acne.com puts it best, reminding parents that “while teen acne may be common, your teen isn’t.” As you probably already know, your kid is one-of-a-kind — and so is their skin type! While there’s no cure-all solution for teen acne, there are plenty of best practices that any dermatologist would be happy to discuss with you and your child.
But before you can go to a dermatologist, it’s important to sit down and talk with your child about the condition of their skin. After all, whether they’re suffering from the occasional pimple or chronic, inflammatory acne, it’s their condition (not yours!) to treat.
Why it’s Important to Have the Talk
While we often view acne as a cornerstone of the teen experience, it can have a more detrimental impact on your teen’s self-esteem than you might think. In a study published by the American Academy of Dermatology, scientists found that among late adolescents, girls and boys with acne had “significantly more depressive symptoms, lower self attitude […] fewer feelings of pride [and] lower self-worth” than their acne-free counterparts. Tackling teenage acne isn’t just about improving your child’s appearance — it’s about giving them the tools they need to be confident in everything they do.
Equally important, proactively seeking treatment can have long-term benefits for your teen. While it may seem controversial to begin acne treatment at a young age, clearing up your child’s skin early can prevent severe scarring down the line. Attacking teenage acne head-on could set the stage for a healthier complexion later in life.
Let Them Know They’re Not Alone
So you know that you should talk to your child about acne — but how do you start the conversation? First, let them know that they’re not alone — 50 million Americans (and 80% of teenagers) suffer from some form of acne. It may be one of the most prevalent skin conditions, but it’s also one of the most easily treatable.
Above all, remember that it’s their acne, not yours, and ultimately they have to decide if they want to pursue treatment. Remain positive, and make it clear that they have your support regardless!
Do Your Homework
If you’re planning to talk to your child about treatment options, it’s important that you first fully understand what they are. Do some research or talk to a dermatologist to make sure that when you approach your teen about this potentially dicey topic, you’re giving them facts, not myths. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our other articles on the causes of acne, how to select the right face wash, and the pros and cons of over the counter treatments. There are many articles that give great tips on how to treat acne.The more you know, the more productive the conversation will be.
It’s important, however, not to monopolize the conversation with too many facts and figures — this should first and foremost be a conversation about your child’s needs, and when possible, it’s best to let them do the talking. That way, when you visit the dermatologist, your child will feel that they have some level of autonomy over their path to treatment, and will be much more invested in addressing their acne once and for all.
If you’d like to make a dermatology appointment for your child but you’re not sure where to start, Clearly Derm’s Virtual Acne Program provides high-quality, affordable service without the hassle of an in-office visit.