Hormones and Why She Gets Acne

I decided that it was finally time to talk with my daughter about the reasons for her acne. I guess sometimes we forget the most obvious of things in our quest for a fix. I may have either overlooked this point or assumed that she is aware that her body is changing when really she may not even have the slightest clue about what is going on with her body. She sees her acne as personal and may not understand that is personal its rather just one of those things that happens when your body develops.

During one of our after dinner walks in the freezing cold I approached the subject with her. I explained to her that I just wanted her to understand why she may be getting acne and to just listen to me for a minute so I could explain to her what she may not know about her body.

She responded “Oh no mom, not the birds and the bees talk!” While that wasn’t my ultimate goal for this very cold walk, the day would soon come that we would have to have that conversation in more detail. “No, not the birds and the bees, just a basic explanation of hormones,” I assured her. I know that she learned some of this in health class but I wanted to just go over the basics again with her. Maybe she would see that this acne is not a personal attack on her but just a sign that her body is changing.

I began by telling her that everyone develops differently as their body prepares for adulthood and went on to explain some of the things that happen to teenagers when they hit something called puberty. Girls typically gain weight and develop breasts and get their period, others may get acne or oily skin or develop a bit of body hair. When boys begin to develop their voices change and they begin to get facial hair or grow more muscular. I also explained how kids feel differently when they begin to develop into adults, because of a thing called hormones. Hormones are chemicals in the body that send messages to other parts of the body. When kids reach a certain age the hormones become more active and cause change to happen in the body because it is getting ready to grow and change.

My daughter didn’t say much, but she was listening as I was huffing and puffing while explaining the mystery of hormones and puberty to her by the light of the moon. I went on to tell her that everyone develops at a different speed which is why some people have acne and others don’t. Some people gain weight while others don’t and some people have changes hormones on the inside where other people can’t see the effect of them. So while she has acne her friends might be feeling changes with their moods or growing hair under their arms. The changes that happen aren’t personal they are just natural, much like her acne.

As our walk finally ended and I was very out of breath, I asked her to think about any questions she might have and write them in her journal that way she could either talk with me about them or her doctor at our next appointment While I don’t think that our conversation was life changing she seemed to be listening attentively and hopefully it helped if even just a little bit.


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