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Psychological effects of acne scars

Published: Sep. 30, 2016 at 5:31 AM CDT
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Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting teenagers, about eighty percent of people between the ages of eleven and thirty, have outbreaks at some point in their lives. And because most teens are very concerned about fitting in, experts say teens who suffer from acne are at risk for psychological effects.

Doctor Kate Eshleman of Cleveland Clinic Children's says it's important to have a conversation with your teen if they are struggling with acne.

"It's very important to talk with your teenager and to listen to what they're saying. So often times we think about the worst case scenario, like this is the worst thing that is happening, and so working with them to show them that that's not true," explains Dr. Eshleman.

Dr. Eshleman says it's important if acne is an issue, that parents not only treat the external issue, but address the internal things, such as the way their child is thinking and what they are feeling.

She says it's also important to validate your child's need to feel comfortable and confident about the way they look.

Taking your child to a dermatologist for an evaluation can help them begin both physical and emotional healing. And because adolescence is already a time filled with fluctuating hormones and emotional ups and downs, it can be easy to miss the signs that a problem might be more serious, like depression.

Dr. Eshleman recommends parents pay close attention to their child's behavior.

"We always look for changes in behavior. So if you see differences in the way that your child is eating, the way that they're sleeping, if their mood seems different, they seem more on edge, or more easily aggravated, those would be things that you might want to investigate a little bit further," says Dr. Eshleman.

Dr. Eshleman says it's also important to be mindful of things that happen in school. If a child is being teased or picked on about their appearance, it's important to know that and to be able to address that as well.