Dermatologists give tips on treating and preventing acne

Many consider acne just a fact of life. An annoyance which time ultimately heals for teenagers. However, dermatologists warn such an attitude could lead to life time consequences.

Their message to parents in the Houston area: Don't dismiss zits, pimples or breakouts.

Just ask Alexa Castillo. The 18-year-old suffered with unpleasant blemishes for the past six years. Her frustration with the situation led her to seek medical attention.

"Once I took care of it, it wasn't a big deal. It did make me more self-conscious you know," said Castillo. "For parents, my message is to take it seriously. You're a teenager and you're more sensitive to what others say to you. You're not as self-confident."

Dr. Sherry Ingraham with Advanced Dermatology said studies show teenagers who suffer from untreated acne can see problems later in life. Dr. Ingraham sat down with abc13 to discuss ways parents can help their children with the issue.

"It can be very detrimental and cause a lot of depression and other psychiatric issues. People sometimes say oh it's just acne. It's just a minor thing. It's just pimples. These can really impact someone's life and there can be long term wounds," said Dr. Ingraham. "Acne is a preventable illness. It's a treatable illness. I implore parents if your child has acne give them the opportunity to get it cleared up because the scarring can last a lifetime."

Dr. Ingraham stressed the importance of sunscreen. The lotion can actually help prevent breakouts and reduce scarring.

For teenagers seeing the problem for the first time, consider over-the-counter products with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

She also said watch what kids are eating. Dairy products like milk or cheese, white beards, sugars, and soft drinks can cause acne. Dr. Ingraham said steer clear of them if you can.

Experts told us if those food changes or treatment methods don't work after three months, see a dermatologists who can consider other options.
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