Getting Rid of Face and other Acne - Treatment, Causes, and Prevention for Tween and Teen Boys
Acne. It really doesn't matter what age you are, acne can creep up on you when you least expect it. Often times it is mild. Sometimes it's simply out of control. The only way to prevent acne and the only way to get rid of it, is to stay on top of it and take care of your skin, whichever body part your acne may be popping up.
Yadda yadda yadda? Maybe. But truth is, mother knows best. And I am speaking from personal experience. Not just in dealing with my own skin, but that of my pre teen son's.
Yes, pimples do tend to start early, especially while certain developmental changes are occurring. You know, those milestone developments that you don't talk about; the ones that frighten you and make you proud all at the same time?
For most, solid hygiene habits are key to acne prevention and to decreasing acne severity. This is true for anyone. For this reason, getting your child started early and following up with their daily personal hygienic habits is a must.
You see, at around this time, and unlike their female counterparts unfortunately, pre-teen boys (or tweens as that age group is often referred to today) tend to postpone hygienic rituals until they either can't stand themselves, or they are forced into it. I'm here to say, force away and make sure they not only have appropriate products, but that they also know how to use them.
This means you have to know your son and pay attention to the ever changing conditions of his skin type and hair, whether the change is due to hormones, weather, activity level, foods eaten, etcetera. Don't assume that just because they are boys that it doesn't matter. It does, because you're instilling proper habits and product usage that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Get them into good hygiene habits - start with Shampoo
If your son's hair isn't like your own, or if your own smells girlie, get him his own shampoo suitable for his hair type. Proper shampooing helps control oils that spread to the forehead and sides of the face, oils which can cause acne.
Make sure there is no lavender in it, as lavender extract has been known to cause "malfunctioning" of hormones in boys. Lavender extract has a few different names, so it's best to simply stay away from all lavender products when it comes to your boys. Slight amounts are fine. Daily use is NOT.
Start early with deoderants and face cleansers.
Get them used to wearing deodorant every day. Whether or not they are consistently stinky is of no matter. It's habit that matters. What type of deodorant is your call. I myself make sure to stay away from all alums, but this is not an easy task unless you live near a specialty shop. Do make sure that whatever men's deodorant you chose, it is not too strong. A regular one will do just fine.
Boys need to wash their face too. Nothing harsh, just something that works and is meant for the face. Neutrogena is a great product line and doesn't build up. Regular Deep Clean is fine, but if they're looking for something that's more for a guy, they have many products for men. They'll come to like the winter fresh feeling on their face and will be more likely to use it if the end result is pleasing. Yes, boys and men are not very different from girls and women in this regard. Be sure that they are shown the right amount to use and how to apply and how long to massage it into their face. Boys can tend to do things a bit too quickly. For this reason, let them know to count to sixty while applying and to rinse very well before moving onto their next step. Boys, not just girls and women, should also use a facial scrub, applied the same way and in lieu of a facial soap. A larger beading in the scrub is best. Getting them started on a good regiment now will significantly prevent the early onset of acne.
The right body wash and loofah, used regularly and properly, will help stave off pimples that pop up on their back, legs, and other personal areas.
Body wash is just as important as face soap and shampoo when it
comes to acne. While proper shampooing helps control oils that spread
to the forehead and sides of the face, and face wash helps control the
oils on the face, a good body wash will control oils that could lead to
pimples on the back as well as in other unwanted places that are a bit
more private. Again nothing too strong and nothing pore clogging. A
gentle deep clean by Neutrogena is my recommendation. Not only does it
work well, but it's gender neutral in packaging and scent. Fortunately
or unfortunately, products that are gender specific to men or products
that are gender neutral in style and smell are going to help your son
keep up with his hygiene. NO bar soaps, either for their face or their
body. I've found that soaps in liquid form work best and clog much
less. And make certain that your son has his own loofah.
They come in all sorts of favorite colors. As for keeping you clean
and getting soap deep into and out of pores, a loofah can't be beat. Do
make sure that they know how much to put on and to put more if the soap
runs out before they are done. Do make sure that they know how to get
all the soap out before hanging it up.
A clean mouth prevents acne.
Make sure they brush their teeth after meals (as soon as they get home from school if they can't or won't or don't have time to brush there. Yes, not brushing your teeth aids in facial acne. The oils and whatnot seep right through the cheeks, so that even if you're washing your face, if you're not brushing your teeth you're going to have more issues than you think.
Did You Know?
Keep bedding clean. It is a good idea to change out bedding at least once a week, especially during these crucial hormonal and bad food habits stages of the tween and teen. It is during sleep that acne subsides or begins to flare, so making sure that what we sleep on is fresh, is a must. Pillow cases can be changed out more regularly, especially during those extra oily times. Oils from the night before make it more difficult for the healing powers of sleep to do their trick. Not to mention the fact that our skin oils that get soaked up by our bedding attract dust throughout the day.
Also make sure that dust in the areas they hang out in don't get too dusty. It's hard to keep things clutter free and anywhere near a semblance of perfect when you have kids (believe me I know!), but a once a week cleaning and wiping down of surfaces (including toys and other things they mess around with) in their rooms or hangout areas will aid in keeping acne at bay more than one would realize.
And finally, get them into these two habits:
The habit of
washing their hands frequently (which they ought to be doing anyway) and
the habit of not touching their face. Touching your face, especially
if your hands are not freshly washed, is the number one no-no when it
comes to preventing zits, pimples, acne, whatever you want to call it. Even freshly washed hands retain oils that could cause acne flair-ups.
Follow the steps outlined above the moment you see any signs of stinky pits, the start of hair growth in special spots, or the beginnings of a lack of positive hygienic habits. While pimples are inevitable, and some are more prone to break-outs than others, knowing how to prevent acne and how to care for acne at an early age will benefit your boys in the long run. They may never thank you, but you'll know you've done well.