Back to school: Is Your Child’s Skin an Added Source of Stress?

Going back to school can be an incredibly exciting time – and can also be a time filled with anxiety, insecurities and fear. Especially so for pre-teen and teenagers who are prone to acne. About 8 out of 10 preteen and teens have acne, and it’s consider a normal part of growing up.  Whether it is a mild case or a serious ongoing problem, no one is happy with it, and it can have seriously debilitating social consequences.

We parents do what we can – buying the latest products, reminding kids to wash their face, don’t pick, don’t touch, get your hair pulled back, stop eating greasy foods. Who hasn’t said at least one of those things? And what do kids do? Give you the look, roll their eyes, sigh and say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

The best thing I did for my son when he was 14 was to bring him to an esthetician for a Teen Facial. He wasn’t at all thrilled with the idea, but I told him if he wanted to get rid of the acne that had started on his face, he needed to talk to a professional. (Obviously, he wasn’t listening to my sage advice about washing his face and not eating so many French fries.)

The esthetician welcomed him and explained what acne is in words that he could understand. She simply explained that pores can get clogged up with extra oil, dead skin cells and germs. Germs are bacteria and can spread when touched. Pretty simple. Not his fault; it’s just something that happens and it can be improved without pain or spending too much time on it.

It made perfect sense to him that he needed to wash his skin to clean the bacteria and not to touch it to prevent it from spreading. She recommended a benzoyl peroxide wash and spot treatment for the tough areas. And that was it. From then on, he washed his face, he didn’t touch it and his acne problem was resolved. Sure, he still had occasional breakouts, but he knew what to do to keep it from getting worse. His was a fairly simply case, but it could’ve blossomed into something more severe if he hadn’t had the professional direction from someone other than Mom.

I encourage you to take your teen or preteen to an esthetician for direction and support. Consider giving a Teen Facial as a gift to a niece, nephew, or grandchild; it can really help relieve teen stress and increase self-esteem which is crucial in their defining years.

Wishing you a smooth back-to-school season!

Patti Rice,

Owner, The Spa ~ Los Gatos

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