The adolescent years are generally a time of good health. Over 80% of teens between 12 and 17 enjoy freedom from substantial medical issues. In fact, the leading cause of injury and death in this age group is accidents and injuries.
Many of the health challenges faced by teens come through discretionary action rather than through illness. Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use may arise through peer pressure, curiosity, mental illness, or to alter one’s sense of reality to avoid or escape life's stresses. Reproductive health, particularly pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted infections, may become a factor if or when a teenager becomes sexually active.
Beyond acne, there are a few illnesses, such as meningitis, that affect adolescents as a group because of the increased social nature of teenagers. Teens may be susceptible to many illnesses on a case-by-case basis. Though relatively uncommon, the list of illnesses is large, and often early detection is very important during these key developmental years.
Regular medical care can serve as both preventive care and treatment. A teen should see their healthcare provider annually, or more often if there’s a condition to treat. Beyond medical care, visits with a healthcare professional can provide a sense of continuity when so much is changing in a teen’s life. This aspect of an ongoing patient relationship is important to our practitioners at Aspen Family Care, and it may become important to your teen as well. Regular visits create a health education resource for an adolescent -- a place where they know they can come for information for staying healthy as well as for treatment should illness occur.
Annual checkups include monitoring vital signs, obtaining a health history and behavioral risk assessment (understanding a teens life outside of school including sports, relationships and other behavior that may carry risk), performing an exam and comparing to prior visits to ensure development is normal, and providing education and guidance on staying healthy, including recommended immunizations
Yes. Both sides of our practice, Aspen Family Care and Aspen Medical Aesthetics, offer dermatology services that are complementary to each other. The first stages of controlling acne may be through lifestyle adjustments, with perhaps topical ointments or creams added to a hygiene regimen. When acne outbreaks are under control, cosmetic dermatology treatments are available to reduce the appearance of acne’s effects and also reduce the number and severity of outbreaks.
When appropriate, medications such as Accutane can be managed within Aspen Family Care. Accutane requires its own special federal licensing to administer. We have providers skilled with the use of Accutane, which can be a cure for severe or otherwise untreatable acne that could otherwise lead to lifetime scarring.