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Facials can keep breakouts at bay

By Al Varela

Dear Al: My 15-year-old son constantly has breakouts on his face. How can I tell if he has acne and what can I do to help him?

Acne rears its ugly head in the form of the various breakouts you mentioned--blackheads, pimples and cysts. But don't feel doomed about being able to get a handle on this. By having regular professional facial treatments and regimens at home, your son's complexion can have a healthy glow.

Acne is stimulated by excess oils and bacteria on the skin, therefore it is essential that your son be diligent in maintaining a regular daily hygiene regimen.

I would recommend that he have a facial by a professional skin-care specialist, who always starts with an evaluation to see if you would need to be referred to a dermatologist if the condition is so severe that everyday treatments might not be effective.

What can a skin-care specialist do?

First, they can use masques that exfoliate and deep purify the skin to help with the skin's natural cleaning process. The skin has a tendency to be red after this treatment, and the skin-care specialist should follow it with a cooling masque that calms the skin.

The skin-care specialist will recommend a home-care program that will keep you on the right track in between visits.

Your son will need to use non-greasy, water-based products for cleansing the affected skin. He should always use tepid to cool water for cleansing his face, never hot water. A toner and oil-free moisturizing lotion should be used after the skin is cleansed. Oily skin tends to need moisturizing, as it is easily dehydrated.

Avoid products that contain fragrances, color, lanolin and alcohol as they will only clog and aggravate the skin.

As a part of a healthy lifestyle, he needs to make sure that he is drinking plenty of water, limiting caffeine intake and of course, be as stress-free as possible.

And, remember, you can't just try to cover up the problem. You must take an aggressive approach on acne from the beginning, so that it does not linger into his adulthood. Acne is a persistent problem and your son must tackle it with resolve.

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