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Acne and small blemishes can leave permanent facial scars

In my 25+ years of dermatology practice in South Jordan, Utah, I have treated thousands of teenagers for acne. Acne, as you might expect, is the most common condition treated by dermatologists. It is more likely than not that any given teenager will have to deal with acne. Unfortunately, many teens and/or their parents wait until the acne is moderate or severe before seeking treatment. Many of us now age 40 years or older remember our parents saying something like, "we had acne at your age", or " It's no big deal, you will outgrow it". Males tend to "outgrow" acne more than females, but sadly, ANY ACNE BUMPS, EVEN SMALL BLEMISHES, CAN LEAVE PERMANENT FACIAL SCARS.

Acne scars are not only a cosmetic problem. Studies have shown that when comparing age and gender-matched individuals with and without acne scars, the unscarred ones make, on average, more than $1 million additional during the course of their careers. Many people don't realize that a permanent cure for acne is now available. For the price of an office co-payment and a generic prescription, they can have flawless, clear, porcelain skin, with no need for foundation.

Most adults will remember friends or acquaintances from their high school years that had acne so severely, they would stay home from school. Even those that "man up" and go to school feel embarrassed or self-conscious in public.

Why is it that babies, toddlers and grade school children have such nice skin? It is because their skin hasn't yet been exposed to the hormonal changes which occur in the teen years. It is a very fortunate adult, indeed, who left adolescence unscathed where skin quality or acne scarring is concerned. These are the rare individuals who, upon seeing them, you notice that they have exceptionally nice skin. Girls and women can use concealer, foundation, and powder to cover problem areas of their faces, but how much nicer to just wake up, put on a little eye makeup and begin your day? Boys, by contrast, have few options. Acne scars tend to improve as much as they are going to by 1 year after the acne is completely under control. But, even in 2017, with all of the advances in technology and medicine, treated acne scars can only improve up to 50%. Acne scars cannot be "erased". Whereas the treatment of acne is considered "medically indicated or necessary", acne scar treatments of any kind are always considered "cosmetic" and thus are not eligible for insurance participation.

Children, teens or even adults can get orthodontic braces any time and come out with a perfect smile. Parents don't give a second thought to putting their children or teenagers into orthodontic braces; spending thousands of dollars, most if not all of which isn't covered with insurance. By contrast, the treatment of acne usually involves only an insurance co-payment and another co-payment for a generic prescription. Unfortunately, with facial acne parents and teens have only one "shot" to keep their skin unscarred from acne lesions. Early evaluation and treatment is the key. See your dermatologist in a timely manner. Prevent acne scars. Live your life free of self-consciousness and concealer.

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