Teenagers and Acne

If you are reading this blog, you most likely suffer or know someone who is suffering from teenage acne. Please keep reading, as this blog will address some of the main treatments available for this condition.

Acne is a condition in which the skin may develop blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and/or cysts. About 85% of teenagers experience acne; therefore, acne is a NORMAL part of puberty. It is unusual for an adolescent NOT to have acne. Although we do not fully understand what causes acne, we do know that acne usually goes away after puberty.

Now that you know that acne is normal during puberty and that you are not alone, there is more good news: Acne is treatable! Yes, it may require some effort on your part, but most patients with acne respond well to treatment. Acne is usually managed by a combination of topical and oral medications.

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Ask yourself: How much does my acne bother me? Do I try to hide it? Does it itch? Does it bleed? Does it make me feel self-conscious? Do I feel embarrassed by my acne? Does my acne hold me back from connecting with my friends?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are symptomatic and therefore, should seek treatment with a board-certified dermatologist. Adolescence is hard enough as it is, and you do not need to suffer from acne in addition to all the other changes that your body is going through.

Woman checking faceAre your pimples just bumps? Or are some of them red, deep, painful, or cystic?
If you have just bumpy acne, you most likely will only need topical medications. The oral medications for acne are used to control the bacteria that causes the deeper, red lesions.

The medications, both topical and oral, that we use to control acne are very safe, easy to use, and there are many options. There are even options for girls that need more hormonal control of their acne, if their acne flares just with their periods.

All acne patients, in addition to their prescribed medications, should cleanse their face at least twice daily (more if you are active in sports) and consider getting regular medical grade facials to help keep their skin from clogging, help heal blemishes, and help keep the skin clean. You should discuss your skin care regimen with your dermatologist, making sure to avoid any oil or petroleum containing products, especially if they cause your acne to worsen.

It is very important to keep your skin clean. This means keeping your hands off of your face, as dirt and grime can clog the skin, leading to more breakouts. Also, you might contaminate your face with bacteria and cause an infection. Never try to pop your own zits as you may drive the contents of the pores down deeper into the skin, causing more inflammation and possible scarring of the skin.

Environmental factors matter, too. It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet, with lot of fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed foods. Grains and sugars can lead to inflammation in the skin and more breakouts. Also, drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Reducing stress and getting enough rest and exercise are helpful as well.

Since adolescence represents the progression from childhood to adulthood, we have to approach the teenage years with respect for this very important stage in a person’s life. It is a time when a person is growing into their adult self and learning to take care of their body in a healthy way. Acne is a great reason to learn how to self-care for our skin better through education and nutrition. Although many aspects of adolescence are challenging, acne is one aspect that doesn’t have to be.

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