Teenagers are the most common age group suffering from acne. Androgens, a hormone that begins production at puberty, is a major cause of acne. Unfortunately for males, they tend to produce more androgens and develop more severe acne than females. Extra oils that contribute to acne, are also produced at puberty. These oils mixed with dirt and dead skin cause the pore blockage which causes acne. Some females will get break-outs around the time of their monthly period. This is caused by the hormone fluctuations caused by menstruation. Fortunately for females with hormonal break-outs, birth control can help to maintain a steady level of hormones.
A common misconception about teens with acne is that they have bad hygiene or eat a lot of greasy food. This is only a myth and proves untrue for most people. Wash your face twice a day, especially after exercise, to get rid of excess oil. Avoid harsh soaps that can irritate and damage the skin. Never pick your face because this could lead to increased irritation and life-long scarring.
Stress can be a cause of acne for teens. Unfortunately, this is an inevitably stressful phase of life. Teens with acne suffer from the emotional side of acne just as much as the physical side. Your face is the first thing that most people see when they look at you. Low self-esteem is a problem that almost all teens with acne will battle with. Depression over acne can cause withdrawal from social interactions, decreased attendance in school, and general avoidance of family and friends. Some teens develop social anxiety that can interfere with every aspect of day to day life.
Some teens with acne decide to purchase topical cleansers from the store when they first start to develop acne. Sensitive skin will not react well with most over-the-counter treatments. It can cause itching, redness, burning, and a general worsening of the condition. If the acne does not clear up after a few weeks of usage, you should consult a dermatologist. He/She can prescribe a more effective antibiotic that is more suited to the individual problem. Everyone’s skin if different so it may take more than one try to find what is right for you.
Common treatments suggested for teens with acne are Benzoyl Peroxide and retinoids. Benzoyl Peroxide kills acne-causing bacteria and is used topically. Retinoids, such as Accutane or Roaccutane, unclog pores and helps the process of skin renewal. There are side effects of using retinoids, such as depression, so usage is closely monitored by a dermatologist.
Acne is not the end of the world. It is completely normal and so common that people really don’t look down on others for not having perfect skin. Some teens with acne grow out of it before they finish high school. Others will grow out of it by the time they reach adulthood. Almost every case of acne can be treated effectively and if acne scars happen to form, there are also treatments available to reconstruct the smoothness of your skin.