How to help your teen prevent acne breakouts

Can I treat acne with a Flexible Spending Account?

As your son or daughter enters puberty, his or her body will undergo a series of major changes during the transition to adulthood, but none are more unpredictable than contending with acne. This skin disorder that reaches its height during the teen years is caused by inflammation of skin

glands and hair follicles that will result in pimples primarily on the face but also on other areas of the body.

Acne is a universal part of life for teenagers, but those breakouts can still be a blow to your teen’s self-esteem and confidence from time to time. Thankfully, there are various anti-acne strategies and skin care products you can explore with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that can dramatically reduce your teen’s chance of breakouts and develop a healthy skin regimen that can last into adulthood.

Here are a few ways that you can help your teen.

Share the importance of regular face washing

While acne is driven by the body’s increased natural production of surface oils, as well as the presence of impurities and dead skin cells that clog pores, gentle cleansing and exfoliating can help reduce the frequency of breakouts and improve the appearance of skin.

However, teens should limit face washing to twice daily, as excessive washing can dry out the skin and lead to peeling and infecting other pimples, leading to a spread of acne.

Use regular acne treatments

In addition to exfoliation and cleansers, a dedicated acne product is another item that can be purchased for your child with a general medical FSA. Please note that acne medications require a prescription for FSA reimbursement. Acne medications come in gels, astringents, pads, creams and lotions, but there are a few key ingredients you should look for. Salicylic acid is a primary ingredient found in most anti-acne products and will break down blackheads and whiteheads, prevent pores from becoming blocked and allow the epidermis to shed skin more easily to stimulate growth of new skin cells. Additionally, benzoyl peroxide is another key ingredient to look for that can slow the production of

oil in skin glands and kill bacteria that can contribute to breakouts.

Be mindful of sun exposure

It’s important to keep your teen protected from the sun’s rays to avoid sunburn, but also to curb his or her acne issues! Acne medications can sometimes make skin more sensitive to sunlight, so warn

your teen to avoid the peak times of the day for UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additionally, look for “noncomedogenic” sunscreens that won’t clog his or her pores, and utilize a product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater to safeguard your child’s skin throughout the summer.