Back-to-school can be a stressful time for teens, especially if they have an acne problem. This doesn’t just apply to girls – in the new Acne Report (a national survey of teens and moms conducted by Harris Interactive for the OXY® line of acne care products) 22 percent of teen boys reported that acne breakouts lower their self-confidence. What differs is the way they deal with it.
“While it may seem that teenage boys don’t care as much about how they look or what their skin is like, acne can actually have a lot of the same psychological and social effects on boys as it does on girls,” says dermatologist, David Bank, M.D., director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York. “Talking about your teen daughter’s acne is very main-stream and young girls have tons of magazines and beauty Web sites offering tips and options. There are less of these resources for boys and, ultimately, it is just harder for boys to ask for help.”
Dr. Bank offers tips to help parents talk with their sons about how to help treat and prevent acne breakouts:
- Clean Up the “Blame” Act: According to the Acne Report moms of teen boys are more than twice as likely as moms of teen girls to blame breakouts on poor hygiene. “This not only is incorrect, but will create a wall between you since he’s being ‘blamed’ for his acne,” adds Dr. Bank. “Acne comes from one main factor – hormones – which are ultimately out of their control, and, in fact, worse in boys than girls since it is the male sex hormones, or androgens, that play the biggest role in breakouts.”
- Tune In: “Basically, even if he seems annoyed with you, your son could use your help because he may not know where to start, and most of the skincare products are directed to women,” says Dr. Bank. “Deliver your advice tactfully and offer a solution by talking about products specially formulated for teen guys, like the OXY products which have fragrances and even packaging designed to appeal to males.”
- Be Realistic: Don’t attempt to get your son to start a complicated skincare regimen. One out of every four boys indicated they only wash their face when they are in the shower, according to the Acne Report, so Dr. Bank recommends buying your son products that fit his routine. The new OXY® Bar Soap or Body Wash can be used right in the shower. The effects also last beyond the shower, with the new bar soap fighting acne 300 percent longer than other leading acne washes, and both can be used on the body and face.
- Hands Off!: According to the OXY® Acne report, 20 percent of moms admitted that they actually “picked or popped their son’s pimples.” Popping a pimple doesn’t help. “When you squeeze a pimple, you can trigger more inflammation and increase the risk of scarring,” explains Dr. Bank.
- Expect a Change…Eventually: All acne medications are designed to prevent future outbreaks, not to automatically make a current one disappear. “I know adolescents expect immediate magic, but they need to have realistic expectations in order to keep them on the continued path of daily skincare to control their breakouts in an ongoing way,” says Dr. Bank. “If they keep switching products or give up too soon, it will be difficult to see the results they were hoping for.
- See a Dermatologist: If your son isn’t willing to listen to your suggestions for dealing with his acne breakouts, offer a visit to his pediatrician or a dermatologist. . “I have seen marked changes in confidence and personality after helping teen boys deal with acne by just talking about it,” explains Dr. Bank.
For more information about the complete line of skincare products or for a chance to enter the “No Room for Acne” Sweepstakes, visit http://www.oxymom.com. Now through February 29, 2009, one lucky parent/guardian will be randomly chosen to win a complimentary house cleaning service to keep his or her teen son’s room spotless ($5,000 total value), plus a one year supply of OXY® skincare products.