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Helping Your Teenager Cope With Acne

It’s nothing new — teens have been battling acne forever. But how they cope with the inevitable breakouts has changed quite a bit. From over-the-counter products to prescription medical systems, the multiple options may be overwhelming. 

Smita Tandon, MD, and her staff in Fountain Valley can calm your concerns and take the stress out of adolescent acne for you and your teen. Her extensive background in pediatrics and specialized care for young adults has turned her practice into a teaching clinic as well, where medical and nurse practitioner students, interns, and residents seek her expertise. 

When you and your teen need advice and medical treatment for stubborn acne problems, this is the place for solutions. Meanwhile, here are some tips for helping your teenager cope with acne.

Know what causes acne

When you know what causes acne, you can help your teen prevent it or at least keep it to a minimum. Here are some of the most common culprits.


Your teen’s diet plays a key role in the acne arena. Some of the foods they should avoid include:

Clearly, this list contains a lot of the staples in your kid’s diet, so you don’t have to get rid of them all. Try one at a time and see if you notice any difference in your teen’s skin condition. The process of elimination is the best approach.

Poor hygiene

Unsurprisingly, teens don’t always practice a diligent skin care regimen. If you can encourage your teen to use quality products and use them regularly, you can give them a fighting chance against outbreaks.

Raging hormones

There’s not much you can do about this one, because hormones fluctuate quite a bit at this age. But it does help your teen daughter to know why outbreaks happen before her period each month or your teen son to understand that a surge of testosterone during puberty is the reason for his pimples. 

Even though they can’t change their hormones, they can do a better job of keeping their pores clean and unclogged with proper cleaning techniques they can learn from Dr. Tandon.

Stay out of the sun

Sun is the best disinfectant for many things, but not your skin. It may seem intuitive to let the sun dry up the excess oil that’s clogging your pores, and to some extent it does. But it also causes you to sweat, which introduces bacteria to the skin, which is an enemy of acne. 

Further, the ultraviolet rays ramp up inflammation and redness. And if your teen is using acne medication, it may make their skin more sensitive to sun exposure. So overall, it’s a good idea to stay in the shade. 

Popping pimples makes it worse

It’s hard to resist the temptation to pop the pimple that’s causing irritation and standing out like red flag, screaming, “look at me!” But make sure your teen knows that popping that zit makes everything worse.

When they squeeze their pimples, they can easily force the bacteria and debris back into the infected hair follicle and deeper into their skin layers. This can lead to forms of acne that are worse than whiteheads — they become nodules, cysts, or lesions that need to be treated by a doctor and often leave scars.

These are some things you can help your teen understand why breakouts happen and how to keep them to a minimum. But if they’ve tried all these tricks and still have an unacceptable amount of acne, Dr. Tandon can help. Your teen may need prescription-strength topical medications and cleansing products to get symptoms under control. 

Call us to schedule an appointment or request one online.

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