How to get clear skin for middle school girls

If you’re almost a teen, chances are pretty good that you may have some acne. Acne is so common that it seems to be a normal part of growing from a kid to an adult. But knowing that doesn’t make it easier when you look in the mirror and see a big pimple on your chin. The good news is that learning about acne and taking some simple steps can help you feel better about your face.

What Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that shows up as bumps. There are different types of bumps: whiteheads, blackheads, red bumps (pimples), and bumps filled with pus. What causes these annoying bumps? Well, your skin is covered with tiny holes called hair follicles, or pores. Pores contain oil glands that make sebum (say: SEE-bum), an oil that moistens your hair and skin.

Most of the time, the glands make the right amount of sebum and the pores are fine. But sometimes a pore gets clogged up with too much sebum, dead skin cells, and germs called bacteria. This can cause acne.

Why Do So Many Kids Get Acne?

Kids get acne because of hormone changes that come with puberty. If your parent had acne as a teen, it’s likely that you will too. Stress may make acne worse, because when you’re stressed, your pores may make more sebum. Luckily, for most people, acne gets better by the time they’re in their twenties.

What Can I Do About Acne?

If you have acne, here are some ways to keep pimples away:

Washing

  • Wash your face gently with your hands once or twice a day with warm water and a mild soap or cleanser.
  • Don’t scrub your face. Scrubbing can actually make acne worse by irritating the skin.
  • If you wear makeup, be sure to wash it all off at the end of the day.
  • Wash your face after you’ve been exercising and sweating a lot.

Treating Acne

There are lotions and creams sold at drugstores that can help prevent acne and clear it up. Talk with your doctor about the choices.

When you use a product for acne, be sure to follow the directions exactly. Try just a little bit at first to be sure that you’re not allergic to the cream or lotion. Don’t give up if you don’t see results the next day. Acne medicine can take weeks or months to work. Don’t use more than you’re supposed to because this can make your skin very red and very dry.

Kids who have serious acne can get help from their doctor. Doctors can prescribe medicine that’s stronger than what you can buy at the store.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Try not to touch your face.
  • Don’t pick, squeeze, or pop pimples.
  • If you have long hair, keep it away from your face and wash it regularly to reduce oil.
  • Baseball caps and other hats can cause pimples along the hairline. Avoid them if you think they are making your acne worse.

What if I Get Pimples Anyway?

Many kids will get some pimples, even if they take steps to prevent acne. It’s totally normal.

If you have acne, now you know some ways to improve your skin. And remember that you’re not alone. Look around at your friends and you’ll see that most kids and teens are in it together!

This is to all middle school teachers out there. This year I am moving up from teaching 2nd grade to teaching middle school (6-8). I am looking for your top three tips to being successful at this level. I have been teaching for seven years, all at the elementary level, so I have a pretty good grasp on style, management, planning, grading, etc. I am looking for things you've found to be unique to these grades that could be helpful for a newcomer. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Remember that 6th and 7th graders are still little kids. 11-13 years old.

Best advice from my former principal. When arguing with a student remember that they are 12.

Be a team player and have fun.

Try not to argue with them at all, though, if it's really just a power struggle. Often, you can just remind the policy or procedure. If they need to realize they're wrong and you have time, it's valuable to ask questions, Socratic style.

On point 1, remember they are kids but they really want to be adults.

Don't talk down to them and don't treat them as lesser (without cause). They know that you are the one in charge, and while they may need reminding occasionally, they will appreciate and respect being respected.

Thank you! Great tips.

Nobody wins in a confrontation.

Prepare for them to love you one day, hate you another, cry, and roll eyes. Mood swings/attitude in middle school are crazy. ( I love teaching middle school by the way.)

You will repeat yourself many, many times and be asked the same questions throughout the year, no matter how well you prepare them at start of year.. Middle school students can handle a bigger level of responsibility with classroom jobs, let them do some of the work for you to save your sanity.

Laugh with them and have fun sometimes. Middle school kids are silly and lose interest easily, they've lost the "love" of school they may have had in elementary. Keeping things fun and light when possible keeps them engaged.

Thank you! Those are fantastic tips.

Yeah, point 3 is often forgotten. Remember we all die oneday and we should enjoy every day we can. The same goes for our kids. Don't take it too seriously, it isn't worth it.

Personally well being always trumps academic.

I think transparency with the students is critical at this age. They respond really positively to adults who make mistakes and own up to it and model how to properly recover.

This. Be genuine and be yourself. They also really care about things being fair. Nothing ever is, but an attempt is appreciated, or at least an explanation.

Also, everyone always says to avoid sarcasm, but it's been super helpful to me. Middle schoolers seem to love it. Just be sure it's not directed at any of them in a mean way.

They also have a good bs detector and appreciate it when adults are honest and unaffected with them. They're tired of being lectured and served up cliche analogies. Don't be a doormat, but find ways to be open and honest with them. don't take it personally however they react. Treat them with respect, act for the same and be gracious if they ever catch you in the wrong (this shows them it's okay to be wrong if you handle it with class and humility).

Middle school was the only place where I've heard a kid tell the teacher "it's okay Ms. G, we all make mistakes." In high school, they're like sharks smelling blood in the water.

Have a thick skin. Middle school kids can be mean to everyone, including teachers. Don't take the sass and attitude personally.

Laugh, especially with the kids (but sometimes also at them, with coworkers later).

Facilitate discussion more than talk at them. They are curious and have more advanced analytical thinking processes than a second grader. Encourage the questions and develop those discussion skills.

They will curse at you. No really.

They will invade your space. No really.

Do not argue with them at all, they are kids and think they know everything. Don't give them the floor for full blown arguments because ALL of the other children are watching.

One day they will like you, the next day those dagger eyes will cut through your soul slowly to the point where you will look away.

Set standard, expectations and consequences in your class, but more importantly, follow through with them or they will lose respect for you.

Keep them engaged. When they are finished with an assignment, they will constantly say "I'm done." Always have something for them to do nomatter what because then the shenanigans begin.

Embrace your new role, have fun and you will find a good stride that works well for you in your class. Best wishes!

Casey Gallagher, MD, is board-certified in dermatology and works as a practicing dermatologist and clinical professor.

Nearly every teen has acne to some degree but early treatment can help keep your child's acne to a minimum. Learn about five things you can do to help keep your young teen's skin healthy and clear mild acne breakouts before it can progress.

How to get clear skin for middle school girls

Be Alert for the Beginning Signs of Acne

Teen acne typically begins when children reach puberty,   though some children show beginning signs of acne as early as age 8. This is probably a lot earlier than you would expect.

Watch for small blackheads and early papules, especially on the nose where acne usually starts.   As acne worsens, it spreads to the forehead, then cheeks and chin. The goal should be to catch breakouts early before they begin to spread.

Start acne treatment as soon as mild comedones appear. Don’t use the wait-and-see-if-it-gets-better approach. It won’t get better on its own, and the sooner you begin treatment the better the results will be.

Teach Your Tween Good Skin Care Habits

Beginning around age 9, children should start cleansing their faces every night with mild soap and warm water,   such as Dove or Neutrogena. Many times this alone will help improve mild pore blockages. Daily facial cleansing is especially important for boys, as they tend to develop more severe and longer-lasting acne.

If you’re noticing pimples, have your child use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cleanser once or twice a day. If the cleanser dries your child’s face, lightly apply an oil-free, fragrance-free moisturizer after every cleansing.

Choose very mild products. Your child’s skin is sensitive, and harsh products can irritate the skin. Don’t encourage scrubbing. Scrubbing won’t clear acne but can irritate the skin.  

Use Mild Acne Treatment Creams

A benzoyl peroxide cream (5% strength) is a good choice for adolescents experiencing red or inflamed breakouts that aren't getting better with medicated cleansers.  

Benzoyl peroxide is a very common and inexpensive acne treatment cream that can be found over-the-counter in the skincare aisle. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria that cause pimples and is highly successful in treating mild cases of acne.

Apply a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide cream over all affected areas once or twice daily after cleansing. Monitor your child's face for redness, irritation, or excessive dryness. If they occur, scale back use to every other day.

Teach a Hands-off Policy

Teach your child not to pick at or "pop" pimples. Doing so can force infected material deeper into the skin, making the pimple flare even more.

Picking at a pimple can cause scarring, exacerbate inflammation, and generally makes acne worse.   It can also lead to a serious infection.

Young teens, in particular, seem determined to pick at their skin. They may need gentle reminders to encourage them to keep their hands away from their face. Explain that popping pimples can aggravate acne, making pimples look more red and obvious, and causing more breakouts.

See a Doctor If Needed

If your kid's acne isn't improving with home treatment, or if your child seems upset about his skin, your next step should be to see a dermatologist.   Your dermatologist can help create a treatment plan that will help your child. Again, don't wait to seek treatment. The sooner you begin treating acne, the easier it is to control.

Your​ child may be reluctant to talk about his skin problems, especially if he feels self-conscious about his breakouts. Try not to nag about your child's skin and, above all, be supportive. Your teen may actually thank you.

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