After eczema, problem teenage skin is the skin complaint I get asked about for advice most often, so I thought it was high time I wrote a post about it, especially as this is something I am experiencing at the moment with my own daughter.
It can be hard to know where to start with so much advice and so many products to choose from, but there is a kind of tiered system of attack that you can follow and it all starts with a good cleansing routine.
Some of the teen cleansing products on the market are so harsh and astringent that they sting when used and leave skin dry, red and sore. Opt for a creamy cleanser as this won’t dry out the skin. Massage over the face and neck and remove with a warm damp face cloth. Be sure to regularly change your flannel as they harbour bacteria. If you can persuade your teen to double cleanse then all the better, and they really must cleanse twice daily to see the benefits. Scrubbing is not a good idea as it can cause irritation. Ditch the soap and water method and also the cleansing wipes which are inefficient and drying.
For many teens this cleansing routine will be enough to see an improvement in their skin, but for others they’ll need to add an extra product. Your first port of call will be the pharmacist where you can buy over the counter topical treatments that will reduce swelling and redness. These treatments need to be tried over several weeks.
If your teen is seeing no improvements you can take them to visit your GP where they may be prescribed a topical product that kills bacteria. There are also antibiotic tablets and hormonal treatments for more severe cases.
While I’ve seem many successes with a simple cleansing routine, for my daughter we needed to go a step further and a GP friend recommended and prescribed a course of Zineryt (a topical antibiotic solution that reduces skin bacteria) which my daughter applies twice a day on to clean dry skin. She will occasionally moisturise (after the Zineryt solution has completely absorbed) if her skin is feeling and looking a bit dry. Within two days we could see an improvement and now a few weeks down the line her young skin is almost flawless which feels like a miracle! Needless to say she’s over the moon.