Back-to-School Stress for Teen Boys

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Talking To Teen Boys About Acne; Top Derm Advises Different Approach Than With Teen Girls


When you squeeze a pimple, you can trigger more inflammation and increase the risk of scarring

Back-to-school can be a stressful time for teens, especially if they have an acne problem. This doesn't just apply to girls - in the new OXY® Acne Report (a national survey of teens and moms conducted by Harris Interactive for the OXY® line of acne care products) 22 percent of teen boys reported that acne breakouts lower their self-confidence. What differs is the way they deal with it.

"While it may seem that teenage boys don't care as much about how they look or what their skin is like, acne can actually have a lot of the same psychological and social effects on boys as it does on girls," says dermatologist, David Bank, M.D., director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery, in Mount Kisco, New York. "Talking about your teen daughter's acne is very main-stream and young girls have tons of magazines and beauty Web sites offering tips and options. There are less of these resources for boys and, ultimately, it is just harder for boys to ask for help."

Dr. Bank offers tips to help parents talk with their sons about how to help treat and prevent acne breakouts:

  •     Clean Up the "Blame" Act: According to the OXY® Acne Report moms of teen boys are more than twice as likely as moms of teen girls to blame breakouts on poor hygiene. "This not only is incorrect, but will create a wall between you since he's being 'blamed' for his acne," adds Dr. Bank. "Acne comes from one main factor - hormones - which are ultimately out of their control, and, in fact, worse in boys than girls since it is the male sex hormones, or androgens, that play the biggest role in breakouts."
  •     Tune In: "Basically, even if he seems annoyed with you, your son could use your help because he may not know where to start, and most of the skincare products are directed to women," says Dr. Bank. "Deliver your advice tactfully and offer a solution by talking about products specially formulated for teen guys, like the OXY products which have fragrances and even packaging designed to appeal to males."
  •     Be Realistic: Don't attempt to get your son to start a complicated skincare regimen. One out of every four boys indicated they only wash their face when they are in the shower, according to the OXY® Acne Report, so Dr. Bank recommends buying your son products that fit his routine. The new OXY® Bar Soap or OXY® Body Wash can be used right in the shower. The effects also last beyond the shower, with the new bar soap fighting acne 300 percent longer than other leading acne washes, and both can be used on the body and face.
  •     Hands Off!: According to the OXY® Acne report, 20 percent of moms admitted that they actually "picked or popped their son's pimples." Popping a pimple doesn't help. "When you squeeze a pimple, you can trigger more inflammation and increase the risk of scarring," explains Dr. Bank.
  •     Expect a Change…Eventually: All acne medications are designed to prevent future outbreaks, not to automatically make a current one disappear. "I know adolescents expect immediate magic, but they need to have realistic expectations in order to keep them on the continued path of daily skincare to control their breakouts in an ongoing way," says Dr. Bank. "If they keep switching products or give up too soon, it will be difficult to see the results they were hoping for.
  •     See a Dermatologist: If your son isn't willing to listen to your suggestions for dealing with his acne breakouts, offer a visit to his pediatrician or a dermatologist. . "I have seen marked changes in confidence and personality after helping teen boys deal with acne by just talking about it," explains Dr. Bank.

Now through September 30, 2008, each parent who visits, a Web site offering information and tips for dealing with a teen boys' acne, can now sign up for the free $100,000 OXY® "Cash for College" Sweepstakes. One lucky parent will win a grand prize of $25,000 as a contribution to a 529B College Savings Plan, five first place winners will each receive $10,000 as a contribution to a 529B College Savings Plan, and five second place winners will each receive $5,000, for a total of $100,000 in scholarships. The $100,000 OXY® "Cash for College" Sweepstakes is open to U.S. legal residents with a son between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. Visit for official rules and entry form.

OXY® has been a trusted name in acne treatment for more than 25 years. The OXY® line of acne products are available nationwide at major retailers, including mass market stores, pharmacy chains and independent drug stores.

*Survey Methodology
Harris Interactive® fielded the four-question teen study from March 15 to March 21, 2007, via its YouthQuerySM, online omnibus service. The sample consisted of a nationwide sample of 793 U.S. teens ages 12 to 18 years old.


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Laura Giardina
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