How to Treat Teenage Acne


Young teenagers can be afflicted by spots which can leave them feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. The spots, in the form of blackheads or whiteheads, are caused by an increase in the production of sebum brought on by the hormonal changes at puberty. Too much sebum can build up, blocking pores and resulting in pimples which can become infected, leading to bigger and more unsightly eruptions. But squeezing too often can lead to pitting and scars that can remain for life.

What you can do

Tempting though it may be, advise your child not to squeeze the spots, as this can lead to infection. Keep the skin as clean as possible by washing it three or four times a day, but with­out letting the skin dry out – a non-oily, water-based mois­turizer will help. Cider vinegar – one dessertspoon (10ml) in a cup of hot water – drunk first thing in the morning and last thing at night, may help.

Treatment

Naturopathy A naturopath may recommend washing with an organic Dead Sea soap. Any excess facial oil still remaining can be gently removed by wiping the area with cotton wool soaked in witch hazel or a small amount of neat Tea-Tree oil. Although the main cause of acne is usually hormonal, stress, a low immune system and diet are also important. To help fight against infection, meals should contain raw or lightly cooked vegetables, grilled rather than fried foods, and plenty of wholegrains. Avoid animal fats, refined products and processed oils, except quality vegetable oils. There may be a link between acne and the chemicals added to salt found in fast and convenience foods. There is also some evidence that acne sufferers have a zinc deficiency, so an increase in zinc (found in chicken, fish, wholegrains, shellfish) or in supple­ment form may help. A well-balanced diet should provide all the vitamins needed to help the skin heal. Traditional Chinese medicine A practitioner may see the appearance of acne as the result of phlegm building up from unresolved problems earlier in childhood. At puberty, the Chinese see the Qi, or vital energy, and blood as being in a state of excess, which can affect the stomach, lungs and large intestines and erupt in the face. Your child will be encour­aged to drink plenty of water as an eliminant, as well as look­ing carefully at the diet. Cooling herbs will be given to resolve this heat excess. Treatment may also include acu­puncture, if necessary. Western herbal medicine might advise infusions of stinging nettle, burdock, dandelion, chamomile or onion, or lotions containing thyme, marigold or angelica. Eating a clove of garlic a day is also thought beneficial. Kinesiology A kinesiologist would look for any imbalances in the body and for any mineral or vitamin deficiencies which can lead to skin problems. Advice on diet and lifestyle would hope to help rectify the problem.

Bach Flower Remedies

Two drops of Crab Apple diluted in an egg-cup full of water and dabbed on the affected area with cotton wool morning and evening has helped some sufferers. If the acne is causing a lack of self confidence, Larch should help, while Gorse will help restore a feeling of optimism to those who are convinced that nothing can be done to help them.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: aromatherapy, herbal medicine, homoeopathy, reflexology, biochemic tissue salts.

AGGRESSION

There can be many reasons for aggressiveness in a child. It may just be their nature or a phase they are going through where they feel perhaps they are not getting enough attention and want their voices heard. However, there may be a particular reason for a sudden change of character. Aggression at home towards siblings may be a child’s way of retaliating against being bullied at school. They may be bored or understimulated and need an outlet for their energy. Or, possibly an allergy to a particular food or medicine may be causing irritability.

What you can do

Try to find out if there is a reason behind any aggression -whether it can be linked to any recent event, such as starting school or eating certain foods. If it seems it may just be a pass­ing problem, your child will hopefully be able to work things out for themselves. But more deepseated problems may need further help.

Treatment

Hypnotherapy Methods of hypnotherapy vary, but the hypnotherapist may use a series of techniques which will help the child to learn about their behaviour without being aware of actually doing so. The hypnotherapist will concentrate on the positive aspects and try to break associations with nega­tive aspects in the child’s life. They will then be taught how to use those positive times in their present life.

Osteopathy

A difficult birth or an accident can all play a part in the development of a child. If the cerebral areas responsi­ble for the child’s personality and communication are affected, then this can lead to problems such as aggression. An osteopath will work on these areas to release any suppression. Often the pathways responsible for behaviour are disfunctioning and need awakening and reinforcing to help the child.

Bach Flower Remedies

A strong-willed child who likes to get their own way on their own terms may benefit from Vine. Where the aggression is based on hatred, spite or jealousy, Holly may be given, while children who fly into uncon­trolled rages would benefit from Cherry Plum.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: massage, reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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