Acne is a dermatological complication that affects millions of teenagers each year. For many teens, the complications with acne are managed by a change in diet and a routine that encompasses treatment for acne that is prescribed by a physician such as a dermatologist. Even with these changes, teens who live with ADHD may find their acne is not well controlled and, as a parent, you may be looking for solutions to your teen’s acne problem.
Impulsivity is the most distinct characteristic of a teen with ADHD. While your teen may have trouble focusing and managing their concentration level, it is the impulsivity that ultimately sets ADHD apart from ADD, Attention Deficit disorder. It is this impulsivity that may be contributing to your teen’s acne complication. Because a teenager’s diet is so closely associated with the development of acne, your teenager must be taught how to effectively make right food and drink choices. With the impulsivity associated with ADHD, many teens fail to make smart and balanced food choices and this, ultimately, may be negating and positive acne treatment you are trying at home.
In addition to the impulsivity and poor diet and food choices, teens with ADHD fail to concentrate and focus well and it is for this reason that they are often non-compliant in using acne treatments. Even when you encourage your teenager to stick to a schedule for facial cleanings, often the ADHD teen will fail to fully wash and medicate the face and this may lead to failed outcomes when it comes to treating the skin for acne. In many cases, this matter leads to many wasted dollars on dermatological visits and treatments that, ultimately, your ADHD teenager will not be compliant with.
For teenagers, these issues with compliance and impulsivity will be difficult to control. As a parent, the best option is to instill in your teen the benefits of compliance with diet and medication or treatment. If, however, you continuously find that your teen’s skin is not ideal and the acne is not well controlled, it is most likely associated with your teen’s ADHD symptoms and not a direct result of poor care or poor recommendations by the dermatologist. Until your teen takes control of skincare, there may not be much in terms of improved acne overall to the face, neck and back.
Acne is a common complication among teens and most parents pinpoint the complication to hormones and diet. For ADHD teens, resolving acne can be more challenging than the typical teenager and until your teen’s ADHD is better controlled, the acne may continue to flourish and be an issue for your teen, physically, without my in terms of resolution.
Sources: Journal of Dermatological Medicine, 2008: 56: 78-82.