Nothing shatters the confidence of a teenager like acne can. Teenage years are tough ones to navigate, as parents we were there once too. On one hand, there is the immense burden of academics: scoring well, getting into college, balancing extracurricular activities. On the other, your teenager is also working their way around social belonging and the pressures that can accompany this. Add the hyper “real” world of social media and glistening photoshopped magazines, our teenagers can become fixated on striving for perfection. And then bam! Hormones strike and what accompanies this: hormonal acne. Sometimes even severely so.

Hormonal acne can be as mild as just a few zits here and there or it can be severe to the degree where you must make a dermatologist’s appointment (large cysts). Normally, over the counter acne treatments can keep the breakouts under control. As a parent it becomes imperative to educate yourself on popular acne medications and skincare ingredients that have been proven to work. The most important thing at this time is to never let acne go untreated. Ever.

How can you talk to your child without creating self-esteem issues? We can agree that this sometimes can be hard to navigate. Firstly, try not to take the acne issues of your teen lightly. Shrugging off the issue by calling it just a “fact of life” can do more damage than you’d think right now. Multiple studies have linked the issues of low self-esteem even as adults being linked to acne and bad self-image in the teen years. Having a positive outlook helps, mentioning that this is not something that is going to last forever, and it never looks as bad to other people as it does to you. Help your child to understand their visual look says nothing about them as a person. Help them get involved in good deeds like volunteering where they can foster a strong self-identity and self-worth through service.

How can you get your teen to try something new without major debates? Here are some tips.

1 – Replace their Regular Face wash with a Nonprescription Acne Face Wash

Replacing their regular bar of soap or whatever cleanser they use with a specialized one for acne is a great step one. Ones with 2% salicylic acid can penetrate well into the pores and help clean out all the gunk that causes blackheads and whiteheads; and ultimately heal the inflammatory cycle. Salicylic acid also comes in handy to treat painful hormonal or cystic acne. By taking this step, you would be incorporating an acne cure in your teen’s routine without much bother.

2 – Leave a Checklist

Your teen is, well, a teen. Constant reminders about using their acne medication may be taken as ‘nagging’. It would reflect badly on their self-image rather than building it up. We say, you find a medicated acne treatment gel, spot-treatment or mask and leave it right beside the facial cleanser on the sink. It would act as a gentle reminder itself. Leave a checklist as well (brush teeth, wash face, exfoliate, treat). Make it as easy as possible.

 3 – Share Your Own Skincare Regimen with Your Teen

Talk about a new anti-aging skincare regimen you are trying. Share its results. Ask if the acne treatment they have been trying for their acne has done any good for them. This would encourage your teen to work with you to treat their acne. Ask them if they want to try something different. But do encourage them that they need to let something work for 4-6 weeks before making a decision to mix it up.

Talking about acne is not about being vain. It’s far more serious than a visual thing, it must be treated, from a medical perspective, to prevent scarring and permanent skin damage. Not to mention possible self-esteem or depression issues. This phase shall pass, promise them that.