Key Points To Remember About Acne In Teenagers
- acne is very common in teenagers
- acne is related to hormonal changes
- creams and other treatments from your pharmacy may help your teen’s acne
- acne treatments usually take several weeks or months to work
- acne usually clears up after several years, but for some people, it can last a lot longer
- if your teen has severe acne, bad acne on their back or chest, scarring or acne that goes on for a long time, see your family doctor
Is Sunlight Bad For Acne
In the west we worship the sun. We love to tan, fake tan, real tan, brown skin in our western minds means beautiful. The East has the opposite view of the sun and hide from it every chance they get. However, acne skin and the sun do not mix. If you have acne you should avoid exposing it to the sun. The sun is damaging to our skin, but especially so if you suffer with acne.
What Can I Do To Prevent Acne Can I Treat My Acne
Some of the factors that increase the risk of acne are outside our control. You cant do anything about your genes, for example. However, there are some risk factors that we can control in order to reduce the chances of getting spots or to make our acne less severe.
Acne isnt caused by bad hygiene. Having spots or blackheads isnt a sign that your skin is dirty or that youre not washing properly. However, acne can be linked to certain kinds of skincare products. If you have spot-prone skin then you should avoid oily skincare products and cosmetics. Ask your dermatologist in London for advice or look for the term non-comedogenic on the labels.
You can also prevent spots from appearing in certain areas by avoiding pressure or friction against your skin. Acne often appears under collars, helmets, or backpacks, or in areas where we lean on our skin. Picking or squeezing spots can also make acne worse by irritating them and spreading infection. Changing the way you interact with your skin can therefore help to prevent spots from appearing or getting worse.
Additionally, acne can sometimes be prevented or the possibility of acne breakouts reduced through what you eat. Studies show varied results, however, there are trends in omega-3 fatty acids and flax seed foods that have properties which reduce skin irritation and inflammation.
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Tell Somebody If Acne Has You Down
You may not want to admit it to anyone, but acne can take a toll on your self-esteem. It can make you feel less confident, insecure, angry, and depressed. These are normal feelings.
Starting treatment and seeing some good results can really help you feel better. So can focusing on things other than your skin. While you’re waiting for results, distract yourself with sports, music, art, or any other interests you have.
There will likely be times when you just can’t seem to not think about your acne. If acne is controlling more of your life than you want it to, let someone know. Tell your parents, a favorite teacher, clergy person, your healthcare provider, or anyone you trust.
You can get through it, you can get over it, and you can feel good about your skin and yourself again.
Can Acne Start Before Your Teen Years
Yes. People can get acne at almost any age.
Around 20% of newborns develop a type of acne called neonatal acne, which usually appears between the second and fourth weeks of life. This type of acne goes away on its own without causing scars. It also does not increase the risk of developing severe acne later in life.
Some children develop infantile acne, which begins between 3 and 6 months of age. Infantile acne can cause deep acne nodules and cysts, leading to permanent acne scars. Fortunately, infantile acne is rare.
Acne is also a growing problem for women over 25 years of age. Most of these women had acne as teens and continue to get breakouts as adults. Some of these women had teenage acne that cleared. Now years later, they are experiencing acne breakouts again. About 20% to 40% of women who have adult acne develop it for the first time as an adult.
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Wear Sunscreen Every Day
While you might feel wary about applying more products to your skin, sunscreen is an absolute must. Not only does it help protect your skin from sun damage and cancer, but sunscreen may even help prevent acne thats sometimes caused by sunburns.
Its especially important to wear sunscreen if youre using retinoids to treat your acne, as your skin will be more susceptible to burns.
Look for a product thats labeled non-comedogenic and oil-free. You can even find two to one moisturizer/foundation products with sunscreen already in them to save time.
Don’t Put Weird Stuff On Your Face
Just like there are many myths about what causes acne, there are also a lot of misconceptions about what can be used to treat it. The internet is crawling with weird home remedies sworn to banish pimples, including:
These remedies simply aren’t effective. Actual acne medications are going to give you much better results.
If you’re desperate to heal a big pimple, use an acne spot treatment instead of a strange remedy.
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Benzoyl Peroxide And Salicylic Acid
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the two most common over-the-counter acne treatments. Salicylic acid is commonly found in body washes, face washes, and astringents. You can sometimes find it in moisturizers, too. The purpose of salicylic acid is to get rid of the dead skin cells that can lead to non-inflammatory acne again, these include whiteheads and blackheads.
On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide is a stronger treatment for more severe breakouts, including inflammatory acne lesions. Not only does it dry up dead skin cells, but it can also help fight excess sebum and kill acne-causing bacteria, too.
For the occasional acne cyst, nodule, or pustule, a spot-treatment containing 2 to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide can do the trick. If you have frequent, widespread inflammatory acne breakouts though, you may consider using a face wash or a lotion with up to 10 percent benzoyl peroxide.
Since benzoyl peroxide is a strong ingredient, it can make your skin red and irritated at first. You may want to use these products once a day to start, and then gradually apply up to two times daily. Also, take care around clothing and colored hair, as benzoyl peroxide is known to stain.
How Can I Treat Acne Scars
A persons acne needs to be under control before scars can be treated, but typically acne scars take two forms, says Dr. Martinez:
- Scars with a gradual dip or depression, which are sometimes called rolling scars
- Scars that are deep and narrow
Most serious scarring is caused by the more severe forms of acne, with nodules or cystic acne more likely to leave permanent scars than other types of acne.
Most of the time though, red or brown acne marks that are left behind after pimples clear up will fade with no need for treatment, though they can sometimes take up to 12 months to go away.
If a teen is upset about acne scars, contact a dermatologist for advice about possible solutions. Treatments depend on how severe the scars are. In some cases, a doctor or dermatologist may suggest a chemical peel or microdermabrasion to help improve the appearance of scars. These treatments can be done in a doctors office.
For serious scarring from previous bouts with acne, several types of treatment can help:
For rolling scars, dermatologists sometimes inject material under the scar to raise it to the level of normal skin. Finally, in some cases, a dermatologist may recommend surgery to remove deeply indented scars.
Get ready for flu season with a visit to the pediatrician for the flu shot and wellness checks.
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Puberty Pimples: A Guide For Teens
Its a simple fact: pre-teens and teenagers are going through changes. And sometimes, those changes result in acne. If youre one of the many teenagers who deal with acne during puberty, this is for you! Lets talk about what causes teen acne, how to prevent it from forming, and what to do when pimples show up anyway.
Start With Otc Acne Treatments
If your acne is mild, or if you’ve just started to break out, you may be able to clear your skin with over-the-counter acne medications.
But not all acne products are created equal. The most effective will contain the following active ingredients on the label.
Don’t worry too much about the brand name, or what form of treatment you’re usingfor example, whether the product is a cleanser, medicated pad, or lotion. Instead, choose a product that fits your budget and is easy for you to use.
Once you find a product that works for you, keep using it. If you stop, your acne will come back.
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Outside Of Your Control
Unfortunately, acne is mainly caused by processes that happen inside our bodies and that are outside our control so it isnt usually possible to stop spots completely. Over the counter products can help when spots appear but if these dont work or your acne is severe you should see a consultant dermatologist they will be able to recommend alternative treatments, prescribe certain medicines and help guide you through your acne treatment.
Makeup And Hair Products
We all want to look our best, but sometimes the very products we use backfire on us! Makeup products and brushes can put acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil right onto your face. Theres also a tendency to be harsh on our skin when were applying and removing makeup frequently.
Hair products can also cause acne if they spread oil or residue on your skin. This type of acne tends to show up as small bumps. Theyre not very noticeable, but they can also be a head scratcher as to where they came from.
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What Causes Acne In Teenagers
The reason why acne is so common in teenagers is that our skin is affected by the hormones that are circulating in our bodies. A lot of the changes that occur during adolescence are linked to these hormones, including the changes in our skin.
The main culprit when it comes to acne is testosterone. Testosterone is usually thought of as a male hormone, but we all produce it to a certain extent. The amount of testosterone in our bodies increases during puberty, especially for boys. This is why acne is more common in teenage boys than in teenage girls. The link to our hormones also explains why women often experience adult acne that is linked to their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.
The boost in testosterone that we experience during puberty can trigger acne because it makes the oil glands in our skin grow bigger. We produce more of the oily substance known as sebum. The sebum usually moves out of the oil glands and onto the surface through our pores so that it can protect our skin. However, when were producing lots of sebum during adolescence, the pores can become blocked. The oil gets trapped inside where it can attract bacteria that cause the redness and swelling associated with spots.
What If My Teen Has Severe Acne
Early treatment for severe acne may help prevent scarring. If your teen uses treatments for mild acne for 3 months and their acne doesn’t improve, take them to see your family doctor. You should also take them to the doctor if they feel down or depressed.
Mild acne treatments will not work for:
- tender lumps under the skin
- acne on the back or chest
If your teen has any of these symptoms, then take them to see your family doctor.
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How Can I Prevent Acne
The best way to get rid of acne is to not let it form in the first place. While its impossible to guarantee a pimple wont form, here are some good practices that should significantly help your skin:
Wash your face once or twice a day with water and a gentle cleanser made for your skin type
Do NOT scrub your face with a washcloth or shower loofah they will irritate your skin and are prone to bacteria if not washed regularly
If you wear makeup, be sure to remove all of it at the end of the day with an oil-free makeup remover
Wash your face after exercising to cleanse your pores of sweat
Keep your hair off of your face and avoid low-brim hats if you tend to see acne on your forehead
Avoid touching or picking at your skin or existing acne to limit irritation and the spread of bacteria from your hands
How To Prevent Teen Acne Breakouts
Despite acne being fairly common in teens, the good news is there are tactics that can help prevent, manage, and eliminate breakouts.
- Gently wash the face, neck, and chest twice per day using a gentle cleanser and water, and softly pat dry with a clean towel afterward. This will help clear your face of all the dirt and irritants that build up on skin throughout the day. Tip: avoid using extra hot or extra cold water on acne-prone areas.
- After cleansing, you will apply a topical product that Dr. Wetli has suggested for you to help unclog pores and prevent future breakouts. Tip: always be sure to properly wash hands before touching your face!
- For those who wear makeup, it is recommended to use mineral based makeup since it will reduce the risk of clogging pores or causing acne flares. We love colorescience brand products, which you can find in our shop.
- Finally, as difficult as it can be, avoid touching or picking the affected areas. This can cause further inflammation, irritation and scarring, ultimately making the acne worse.
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What Is Acne And What Causes It
Acne is a condition of the skin that shows up as different types of bumps. These bumps can be blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or cysts. Teens get acne because of the hormonal changes that come with puberty. If your parents had acne as teens, it’s more likely that you will, too. The good news is that, for most people, acne goes away almost completely by the time they are out of their teens.
The type of acne that a lot of teens get is called acne vulgaris . It usually shows up on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest.
The hair follicles, or pores, in your skin contain sebaceous glands . These glands make sebum, which is an oil that lubricates your hair and skin. Most of the time, the sebaceous glands make the right amount of sebum. As the body begins to mature and develop, though, hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum.
Pores become clogged if there is too much sebum and too many dead skin cells. Bacteria can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply. This causes swelling and redness the start of acne.
If a pore gets clogged up and closes but bulges out from the skin, you’re left with a whitehead. If a pore gets clogged up but stays open, the top surface can darken and you’re left with a blackhead. Sometimes the wall of the pore opens, allowing sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells to make their way under the skin and you’re left with a small, red bump called a pimple .
Does Acne Affect Teens And Adults Differently
Acne can be upsetting regardless of your age. But teens and adults arent quite affected the same way.
Adolescence is a period of life filled with surging hormones and, for many, social awkwardness. Adding acne to the mix can make that period more challenging. Studies reveal that teenagers with acne have lower self-esteem, higher emotional distress, and lower quality of life than teens without acne. They may also be more likely to contemplate suicide, particularly if they have severe acne.
Adults can also struggle with the emotional and psychological distress caused by acne: Up to 40% of adults with acne may have a mental health condition. Like teens, they can suffer from a negative body image and poor self-esteem, but they may also experience discrimination in the workplace and in other social settings. Some studies even suggest the quality of life of adults with acne is more affected than teens with acne.
Making matters worse, adult skin is slower than teenager skin to regenerate and help with acne healing. So acne scars can last for longer in adults and may take more time to heal.
One study that looked at almost 1,000 people with acne found mild to moderate facial scarring in about 55% of participants. The scarring was related to how severe the acne was and how long the acne lasted.
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Best Treatments For Teen Acne
Teen acne can turn into adult acne if not treated properly- and with so many triggers and different treatment options, it can feel overwhelming to control it. Some teens may need to change their diet or make minor adjustments to daily routines, while others may need topical medications like retinoids or potentially oral antibiotics. To ensure youre treating acne correctly, its best to meet with a professional who can find the root cause and create a personal treatment plan that will be most effective for you and your unique skin.
Treatment plans are not a one size fits all, or a one and done solution. Theyre a process that takes time, patience, and commitment. Its important to note that a patients dedication to their treatment plan is vital to its success. If youre consistent with treatments, it will be easier to track progress and see results.