LAS VEGAS, July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Acne effects upwards of 85% of adolescents and teenagers; related treatments generate US sales of $3 billion annually, presumably enough to offer consumers an array of comprehensive treatments. However, this spending is nearly all aimed at minimizing cosmetic symptoms, leaving untreated much of the mental suffering linked to the skin condition. This oversight has huge consequences for many of the 50 million US acne sufferers, especially teens as they prepare to return to school and face the social stigma and diminished status associated with acne.
Dermatologists and general practitioners often cite recurring challenges to self-image linked to teenage acne:
- Acne, especially when it affects the face, provokes cruel taunts from other teenagers.
- At a time when teenagers are learning to form relationships, especially those of the opposite sex, those with acne may lack the self confidence to go out and make these bonds. They become shy and even reclusive.
- Some children with acne refuse to go to school, leading to poor academic performance.
Even mild cases of acne can present mental health issues, since reactions are heightened at that age. Renowned educator and psychotherapist, Dr. Gilda Carle, runs educational programs in Teen Esteem, Empowerment, and Anti-Bullying. She warns, "Acne strikes teens at a time when self-consciousness is at its peak. Kids compare themselves to celebs their age with airbrushed perfect skin. The 'body dysmorphic disorder,' or imagined ugliness they suffer can lead to destructive social and scholastic behavior. Moreover, teens who feel socially inept are more likely to be vulnerable to bullying, which makes them feel even worse."
Even where existing treatments are available, they are often ineffective or harmful. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, many acne medications have mild to severe side effects, and often cause skin irritation, which restarts the cycle of acne and carries its own set of appearance issues. According to Dermatologist Dr. Gregory Robertson, "The range of treatment types for acne is limited, and most have active ingredients so harsh that the side effects can seem as bad or worse than the acne they are meant to treat." Robertson advises his acne patients to use an all-natural treatment called Zapne, which he asserts works consistently with nearly no side effects.
Dr. Gilda Carle advises, "Parents of kids with acne need to realize that to a vulnerable teen, a blemished face signifies a blemished life. Instead of trying to talk your teen out of feeling bad, take action immediately to find a safe and effective treatment."