Being a teenager is hard. Having acne can make it harder. Parents often ask us when it’s appropriate to bring in their teenagers for acne treatments, and there really is no cut and dry answer. There are several things we like to discuss with the teens and their parents before we jump in.
First, we always ask the teens, “Do your breakouts bother you?” This seems like an obvious question, but many parents don’t ask it. Often times young teens (tweens in particular), are not yet bothered by their pimples or acne spots. Parents wanting to be proactive (which is fabulous!) bring them in because they feel concern, not because the kids feel concern. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have acne-reducing treatments, but if a teen is not bothered by their breakouts, then it is less likely they will follow our instructions or be compliant, which makes it harder to achieve a positive result. We keep this in mind as we make recommendations.
Next we want to know what habits are in place. A teenager that hasn’t developed the habit of washing their face every night before bed is not likely to suddenly develop the habit because they walked through the doors of our clinic. If we know the habits are in place, it’s easier for us to transition your teen to better at home products that are likely to deliver better results.
Can your teen speak for themselves? During the course of treatments, we will need to ask questions about how their skin is responding to treatments and products. Is your teen able to speak comfortably when asked and answer these questions? Input from parents is always considered and appreciated. However, some questions can’t be answered by an observer, they require feedback from the experiencer.
Lastly, who does your teen listen to? Are you blessed to have a teen that responds to gentle parental reminders? Even the most responsible kids forget from time to time and will need your involvement. Will your teen listen to a Skin Care Therapist? Often teens that won’t listen to parents respond very well to our Skin Care Therapists, and we are happy to give instructions and ask for accountability from your teen. But if your teen is resistant to any instruction, then the time might not be right.
We always recommend that you bring kids in sooner rather than later, for an assessment. But before we choose to do expensive, advanced treatments, it’s good to think about the points above and discuss openly with your child and Skin Care Therapist about all these things so that we can maximize the chances for success and minimize the financial investment.
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