Most teenagers, at some point in time, have heard the clichéd words that acne is just part of growing up. How they hate those words from their parents or physicians because they feel the ones saying it have no idea what they’re going through. The truth is that it is highly likely that a parent or other adult knows exactly what the teenager is going through because they have been there themselves, not too long ago.
In order to exercise patience with our kids who have matured from messy toddlers to teenagers with hormonal havoc, we need to remind ourselves that they have a short term view of life. Everything is for now and, at the most, for tomorrow. They haven’t seen life to plan ahead or are not able to look past a particular obstacle.
Outward Appearances of acne
Teenagers also focus greatly on outward appearances. Regardless of how messy their room is at home, they want to look great when going to school. Acne is something they can not hide and hence despair when they hear consolation from parents with clear skin.
They feel succumbed to peer pressure when cheeky thirteen year olds make jokes or pass sarcastic comments like ‘pimple face’ and the like. They are at a vulnerable age where they get impressed with celebrities and wonder why teenage stars do not have acne problems if they are the same age. Little do they understand is that what they see on glossy magazine covers or in the movies is a result of hours of professional grooming, styling – and air brushing too!
They feel helpless as the over-the-counter acne medication doesn’t provide dramatic overnight miraculous results. They want everything done yesterday and can not wait for a few days or weeks to pass to see results. Instead, they try to expedite the process by self-medicating or picking at pimples, only making matters worse.
Acne comes unannounced and despite myths that greasy food or sugary drinks can aggravate it, it can attack any unsuspecting sixteen year old, even on the night before her prom. The perfect dress that she spent weeks looking for seems a waste when she sees the sudden outbreak of puppy acne on her face. Unfortunately, layers of make-up may just worsen the case instead of improving it.
What we need to teach by example to our young and impressionable children, is how we understand this may be hard for them, but that we should all focus on inner beauty- in ourselves and in others. Acne may go after a few years, but a disease or a disability may affect your –or your loved ones – outward appearance later on in life, and if you appreciated what’s on the inside, you will never even notice the difference!