Blame it on hormones. Blame it on skin changes. Blame it on oily skin, or overly dry skin. But almost all teens get acne. Pimples are pus filled bumps that pop up on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. While acne is not a serious health condition, severe acne can cause scarring and can also damage a person’s self-esteem. Teens especially feel the affects at school and in social crowds, and acne can cause them to back away from settings where they would be seen – and feel judged.
Hormones called Androgens play a role in teen acne because they increase in boys and girls during puberty. Androgens cause oil glands to get larger and produce greater amounts of oil. Genetics are also a factor in teen acne. If a teen’s parents struggled with acne as a teen (or as an adult), s/he will have a higher chance of also struggling with acne. Make-up and moisturizers with a greasy consistency can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
While not all teenagers will have the same causes or triggers for acne, there are things that anyone who suffers with acne should avoid:
- squeezing blemishes
- resting hands on the shin or cheeks
- poor hygiene
- sharing cosmetics
- wearing dirty helmets
Treatments for teen acne vary. Acne treatments include over the counter topical treatments that are applied directly to the infected skin areas. These treatments are available in lotions, creams, gels, and pads. If these products are used regularly, they can help to improve moderate cases of teen acne.
For severe cases of teen acne, a dermatologist can work with your teen to determine triggers and treatments that will help to prevent and treat acne. In many cases, a stronger topical treatment is all that is needed to help clear up infected areas. However, there are some severe cases that can be treated with oral drugs. There are certain risk factors with oral acne treatments that must be discussed with a dermatologist before a teen can take these medications.
While acne is common, it isn’t fun. By taking proper care of the skin and by regular visits with a dermatologist, your teen can have the skin that helps him or her put the best face forward.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates