Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Parent to Parent: Acne Angst
Most teenagers shudder at the "A" word. Dare we say it? Acne! It happens to almost every teen. But when is it time to see a doctor, how do you keep your kids' pimples in perspective? Seven's Lynn Martinez tells us in tonight's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- Robbie Berg started acne treatments a few weeks ago.
Robbie Berg: "It just started happening. Acne came up, and now I decided it was just a little too much. I had some over-the-counter washes, and it just wasn't doing the job."
Just about all teens with acne know the feeling. When over the counter treatments fail, about half of them end up seeing a dermatologist.
Dr. Garry Gewirtzman, dermatologist: "It's a tremendous problem. Probably close to 100 percent of the kids have had at least one or two pimples. It's so much of a problem that a lot of teenagers don't even want to hear the word acne."
And those breakouts can really breakdown a teenager's self confidence.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "With our culture being so into the way we look, and with adolescents just getting into that, it can be devastating for a child to have a skin problem."
When the self-esteem starts to go, Dr. Val says, that's when it's time to get professional help.
Dr. Garry Gewirtzman: "We keep coming up with new and better topical medications, and usually the goal is that if you put people on antibiotics you want to do that short-term and then hopefully switch to topical."
Doctors say, for most teens, breakouts can be controlled by keeping your skin clean. Wash twice a day with a mild cleanser. Avoid harsh scrubs and say no to alcohol, which can dry the skin and make breakouts worse.
Dr. Val says, for parents, all you can do is be supportive.
Dr. Val: "Deal with the strengths of the child. If the child is a good student, focus on that. You want to focus on where the child feels good about themselves."
Teens need to remember they're all in it together. Zachary Gart has been seeing the doctor for two years. He's happy that his skin is almost clear.
Zachary Gart: "Stick it out because we all struggled, and I think that in the end, with the right doctor and the right medicine, I think it all clears up."
Robbie feels better too.
Robbie Berg: "It's good to know that I have it under control. If something happens, and I have a new outbreak, I can come to the doctor and get it taken care of."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode