How to Help Your Teenager with Acne

Acne is a condition that teenagers have been dealing with for generations, and while there is no cure for acne, there have been many advancements in how it can be treated, making today’s generation better equipped to deal with the problem.

There are many myths associated with what causes acne. Some believe that diet plays a role, but there is no proven link between eating greasy food or chocolate and the development of acne. Similarly, stress does not cause acne (although it can make it worse).

The reason for the onset of acne for many adolescents is changing hormones. Teenagers develop certain hormones called androgens when they reach puberty. These hormones stimulate the glands in the pores to produce more oils. The excess oils can lead to pores becoming clogged. If a clogged pore becomes infected, a pimple forms. Pimples can come in many forms, but the most common type (and least severe) are blackheads or whiteheads. It is estimated that approximately 85% of all teens develop this form of acne on their face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.

The most important way to treat acne is to keep your skin clean. Washing your face twice a day with a mild soap and warm water is key, but experts advise against harshly scrubbing the acne-ridden area as that will only irritate the skin and worsen the situation – instead gently blot the area in question.

There are also many effective over-the-counter medications designed to help with this problem. Products that contain benzoyl peroxide have proven to be effective as they reduce oil production and also contain antibacterial properties. Other medications may contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid or sulfur,  designed to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.

If over-the-counter medications prove ineffective a dermatologist can help. A dermatologist can prescribe stronger acne medications and offer a variety of treatment options.

Jamaica Hospital offers dermatology services in its Ambulatory Care Center. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips to Keep Teen Stress in Check

Teacher helping a trouble teenager

As you may imagine, school-related stress is rated the most common source of stress for American teens. This was discovered through The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America report. The Stress in American report found that American teens report stress levels higher than what they believe is healthy (5.8 on a 10-point scale, healthy level rated 3.9). Although teens reported significant stress, they appear to be poor judges of the impact stress can have on their health and mental health.

According to the APA Stress in America report, forty-two percent of teens indicated not doing anything to cope with their stress or not knowing what to do to manage it. Here are suggested tips from the APA on how to manage stress:

  1. Engage in physical activity.
  2. Do things that make you happy.
  3. Talk to someone.
  4. Get some sleep.

Parents would be surprised by the amount of stress and anxiety teens are dealing with involving social media. Teens are losing sleep worrying about tests, projects that are due, teams going to competitions, friendship dramas, and break ups. Parents can identity signs of stress and help their teen find a way to cope:

  • Help your teen monitor their schedule and activities.
  • Help teach your teen to identify the “stress signs.” These may include stomach pains, chest tightness, fast heartbeat, obsessive thoughts about being ready for things, and the inability to enjoy their day-to-day activities.
  • Practice what you preach. Parents should also limit their commitments and have more opportunities to talk with their children on a regular basis about school, friends and peer pressure.

 

If your teenager admits to being stressed, use the above tips to help manage stress. Jamaica Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic offers special child and adolescent services. For more info, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.