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The Agony of Acne

If you suffered from acne growing up, the odds are good that your teenager will, too. The difference is that there's no medical reason why they should. Tracy Smith is here with more in this week's study hall report.

Look at these pictures--and try to spot a teen with a really bad case of acne. It's still there, all right-- but many dermatologists believe acne is under control.

"People still have the genetic predisposition to get acne, but many people are getting treated so they're clear. Those that aren't getting treated feel that much worse," says Eric Lewis, MD, a dermatologist.

You can even go so far to say that acne is not a problem today if you get treated. That's the word teens wanted to hear. According to one drug company study-- teenagers say having clear skin is more important to them than being taller, thinner, more attractive, or even smarter. For them, acne is a disaster, but for some parents, it is just a phase.

Sometimes parents don't want to pay for a dermatologist or they just don't want to have the trouble to go to one. They just don't think it's that significant to go to a doctor just for acne as opposed to go to a regular doctor.

"The mother is usually more sensitive, and if the mother went through it, they'll say 'I don't want my kids to go through it'," says Lewis. "But if it's the father that brings the genetic characteristic of bad acne into the family, then the father is usually the one who says 'I don't see a big deal. I lived through it. Why should I spend money taking care of something that's going to go away on its own?'"

Of course, for the teens who have acne, the answer is clear. They don't want to be called craterface or pizza face by their peers. The truth is that agony caused by acne can be avoided. "Everyone, even the most severe patients, even the most severe teenagers, if treated properly, can have almost clear skin," says Lewis.

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