Every teenager suffers from acne. Some adolescents experience occasional breakouts while others suffer from a chronic form of acne. More than 85% of teenagers struggle with acne, especially around puberty. Teenage acne may appear in the form of clogged pores and painful pimples with occasional lumps on the face, neck, upper arms, and chest. Acne may be frustrating for teenagers, learn here how to treat and manage it effectively to prevent future breakouts.
What Is Teenage Acne?
Teenage acne occurs because of various hormonal changes in the body. Our skin consists of sebaceous glands that produce oil or sebum. When one hits puberty, there is an excess secretion of a hormone called androgen. These hormones stimulate the oil glands to become hyperactive and produce more sebum. The excessive oil combines with dead skin cells and debris and causes the clogging of pores and breakout. It also causes inflammatory acne as it increases the activity of the bacteria P.acnes, which is already present in the pores.
What Causes Acne In Teenage?
Teenage acne is mainly a result of hormonal fluctuations. However, some other factors may also be responsible for aggravating this skin concern like the following
- Genes – If either of your parents had an acne problem, there is a definite chance of you having it as well.
- Stress – Though it is not the main cause for teenage acne, nevertheless, undue stress due to peer pressure, education, etc., can worsen the breakouts.
- Food – Oily, junk, and spicy food can trigger acne. A diet with a high glycemic load, rich in dairy protein and more, can increase certain factors which again cause an increase in sebum production, leading to acne.
- Popping Pimples – In search of a quick remedy, youngsters often end up trying to pop their pimples. What they don’t realize is that this can spread bacterial infection and lead to further breakouts and scarring too.
- Environmental factors – The skin produces more oil when the weather is hot and humid; this may increase the chances of acne flare-ups.
Acne Challenges For Teenage Girls and Boys
Acne affects most teenagers, girls and boys alike. For teenage girls, the occurrence of acne tends to be prominent and cyclical, especially during the menstrual cycle. Androgens stimulate sebum production, which works as an acne trigger. Having acne during these vulnerable years when appearance seems most important, can be frustrating for most teens. It is important to remember that acne is a normal part of the teen phase.
Psychological Effects Of Teenage Acne
Breakouts are common during the teenage years due to hormonal changes. However, teens may struggle to cope with the various physiological changes and acne may take a toll on their confidence. Parents should seek professional dermatological care for their adolescents to prevent acne from scarring their child’s self-image during this critical phase.
Also Read: What Are The Primary Causes Of Getting Acne?
Acne Treatment For Teens
Depending on the severity of your acne problem, your doctor might prescribe medications or conduct further investigations before recommending a suitable treatment. He may use the following options to treat your acne –
- Chemical Peel –Depending upon the severity of acne, the dermatologist may advise you to go for a mild acne control peel treatment. The anti-acne peel contains either salicylic acid or mandelic acid. A few skin clinics may offer chemical peel treatments for teenage clients as young as 15 years, but it is subject to their discretion.
- Salicylic acid peel is a superficial peel that acts on the upper layers of the skin and treats large pores, acne, and blackheads.
- Mandelic acid peel is excellent for treating teenage acne as well as scarring. It is ideal for people with a sensitive skin type as well.
- Topical Medications – Dermatologists commonly prescribe topical medications to treat mild to moderate teenage acne. These include benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, azelaic acid, and adapalene.
- Benzoyl peroxide has anti-bacterial properties and helps in controlling the skin’s oil production. Tea tree oil also helps in fighting acne so a teenager can apply it topically on the affected area.
- Dermatologists often recommend the application of resorcinol, sulfur and prescription retinoids on the acne-prone areas. They can effectively reduce blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammation.
- Over-The-Counter Medications – For treating mild cases of acne, the dermatologist may suggest the use of OTC topical medications available in the form of gels, creams, lotions, face washes, and soaps. These usually contain an active ingredient such as tea tree oil that fights acne-causing bacteria.
- Oral Antibiotics – If you are suffering from persistent acne, the dermatologist might prescribe oral antibiotics. You can use these prescription drugs for a short duration as they have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Oral Retinoids – A dermatologist will prescribe this to reduce scarring due to acne only after proper evaluation. He may use this to treat resistant or unresponsive acne.
How Can Teens Prevent Pimples?
Here are a few simple tips that teenagers can follow to prevent pimples:
- Clean your face twice a day with a mild cleanser and warm water.
- Never pick or squeeze the pimples as it may lead to further inflammation and scarring.
- Follow a good skin care routine that includes the use of a toner to control oil production and a non-comedogenic moisturizer to nourish the skin.
- Using sunscreen is a must to protect your skin from harmful UV rays especially when you have breakouts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does dietary change play a role in treating teenage acne?
Many dermatologists believe that foods scoring high on the glycemic index can trigger breakouts. Therefore, skin specialists emphasize on changing dietary habits to control acne.
How long does acne last for teenagers?
Acne usually lasts until pre-adult and adult stages, but in some cases, it may even stay beyond the age of 20. Factors such as hormones, stress, genetics, lifestyle choices, environmental conditions, and more play an important role here.
Do spots of teenage acne go away?
Not all forms of acne clear up on their own. If left untreated, acne may become chronic and even result in scarring. Advanced treatments at a skin clinic treat acne effectively.
Hope you found this article on teenage acne informative and helpful. If you have any queries or doubts, you can share them in the comments box below and get expert advice from our experienced dermatologists.