At some point or another, most teens face some sort of struggle with acne. While acne can vary from teen to teen, more than 80% of them experience it, and it can often be a source of embarrassment and shame. So how can we help them through it?
The first step is to figure out what the likely cause is. Since there are almost as many causes of acne as there are teens who have it, there is no cure-all. Teen acne can be hereditary, brought on by hormonal changes or stress. The cause may be oily hair or the wrong skincare products, or even certain drugs such as steroids, testosterone, and estrogen. It could even just be high levels of humidity or sweating.
First, check for obvious causes. For example, if your teen has chin-length hair and acne along their chin, suggest clipping hair away from the face and see if it subsides. Look at what kind of moisturizer or facial cleanser your teen is using, and swap it out for a different one.
If you don't see an easy fix, start with a drugstore acne treatment. They usually contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to help fight breakouts, so check labels for those ingredients. If you want an easy, accessible product to start with, try Neutrogena On-The-Spot, a benzoyl peroxide product that can be found in most grocery stores.
Remember: acne treatment is not instant. It can take weeks or even months to clear up, so even if you've started to see clearer skin, continue treatments. If you don't see improvement after a few weeks with over-the-counter products, it may be time to see a dermatologist.
For more stubborn acne, there are various treatments that a dermatologist can prescribe, so see one as soon as possible. Even if your teen’s acne is manageable with over-the-counter products, it may be beneficial to visit the dermatologist, just to help you get to know your specific type of skin. They can help you find treatments, skincare products, and even makeup that will help you clear up your skin and avoid breakouts in the future.
To avoid scarring, you or your teen must never pick at or squeeze acne, especially if you notice redness or inflammation around the mark. Squeezing forces the infected material deeper into the skin, which can lead to scarring.
Acne is treatable, but treatments are more effective the earlier you seek them out, so get in touch with a dermatologist today! If you have specific questions we can answer, we would love to talk with you. You can contact us by phone or book online.