If your child suffers from acne, he or she will need your help in more ways than one.
Here's what to do:
- Learn more about the condition – search for information on the internet or visit your local library. Your child will feel reassured and safer if s/he knows that you are knowledgeable about the subject.
- Ensure that your child gets the best possible treatment for acne. Effective treatment is available and if treated early and successfully, many psychological difficulties can be avoided.
- Reinforce the idea that acne is not the result of anything he/she did wrong and ensure that your child knows the facts and myths about acne.
- Acne sufferers are often disheartened if the first line of treatment does not yield immediate or effective results. Encourage your child to stick to a treatment programme and to try other treatment options if needed.
- Many acne sufferers also suffer from the psychological effects of the condition. Learn what these are and what you should do about it.
- Watch out for depression. Learn about the signs of depression and when to seek help. The vast majority of people can be treated successfully for depression. Effective treatment can change your child's life significantly.
- As acne sufferers prefer to withdraw from social and even school activities, they can become isolated and miss out on important opportunities to develop social skills. Encourage your child to take part in activities and explore other options if your child doesn't feel up to facing his/her own circle of friends.
- Decline in school performance is common. Make sure that your child stays up to date with school work.
- It is important that your child knows that there is more to him/her than physical appearance. Constantly emphasise your child's positive attributes and achievements.
- As stress can exacerbate symptoms, it is important that your child learns to manage stress as well as possible. Teach your child how to prioritise and practice stress management techniques.
- Your child needs your support and help. Try to provide a caring, supportive environment. It is understandable that you might become impatient when your child does not get better right away or cannot "snap out of it".
- (Health24, updated April 2011)