Teenage acne is a skin condition, which almost all teens suffer during some point of time in their teens. It occurs when an oily substance, known as sebum, clogs pores.
Acne or pimples generally come up on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although, acne does not pose a serious health risk, but it does have a serious impact on your self-esteem. Also severe acne can cause permanent scars, which is a cause of concern.
How Does Acne Look Like?
How can you recognize acne? It may look as one of the following:
(i) Whiteheads: White specks that in fact are pores jammed with oil and dead skin buried under skin layers.
(ii) Blackheads: Black bumps that are obstructed pores from which substance juts out through the follicles. Its black color appearance is not from dirt. It can be from the material, bacteria, or dead skin cells, which have reacted with oxygen and turned black (oxidization).
(iii) Papules, pustules or nodules: More worrying lesions looking red and puffy because of inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the blocked follicles that are usually painful and feel hard.
(iv) Cysts: Deep, pus-filled pimples.
What Causes Acne?
Though, the actual cause of acne is not known, but hormones known as androgens do play a role. Androgens upsurge in both boys and girls during puberty. Androgens cause the skin’s oil glands become bigger and produce more sebum. Androgens also can surge due to hormonal changes associated with pregnancy or starting or discontinuing birth control pills.
Genetics can also be a contributory factor. If your parents had suffered acne, you might have inherited that propensity.
Some medications (for example, epilepsy medication, prednisone, androgens taken as medicine, and lithium) also may trigger acne.
Cosmetics that have a greasy texture may block pores. Water-based makeup products are less likely to trigger acne than oil-based makeup.
Other things that can worsen acne conditions include:
(i) Abrasion caused by leaning on or scouring the skin; harsh brushing
(ii) Picking or squeezing blemishes
(iii) Compression from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
(iv) Fluctuating hormone intensities in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before the start of the menstrual period
How To Treat Teenage Acne?
Though, you can consult your family doctor or a general practitioner to treat milder forms of acne – but we recommend that you visit a dermatologist (doctor who specialize in skin problems) for your acne problems, especially in severe cases.
Acne treatment for teenage guys and gals include:
(i) Nonprescription (“over the counter”) Topical Treatments: “Topical” connotes that you apply these products on your skin. They’re not pills or oral medications. Such acne treatments include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur. They are offered in various forms such as gels, lotions, creams, soaps, and pads. Using these products regularly may take 4-8 weeks for skin to improve because they are actually moderately effective in treating acne.
(ii) Prescription Topical Treatments: These acne treatment products include benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, tretinoin, tazarotene, adapalene, dapsone, and azelaic acid.
(iii) Prescription Oral Drug Treatments: For a faster treatment of moderate to severe acne, doctors sometimes prescribe oral antibiotics (pills) in addition to topical medication. Oral antibiotics are meant to help keep under control acne by restraining growth of the bacteria, which in turn decrease inflammation. They are normally taken daily for 4 to 6 months and then gradually reduced and finally discontinued as acne-skin conditions improve. The most potent oral drug, isotretinoin, is often taken once or twice daily for 16 to 20 weeks. It is thought to decrease size of the oil glands so that much less oil is produced and to help avert blocking of skin pores. This in turn reins in growth of acne-causing bacteria.
Caution: Because of the risk of birth defects, neither pregnant women should take isotretinoin nor become pregnant while taking isotretinoin.
Acne Prevention Tips During Teenage
Here are best tips that help control acne and pimples:
(i) Acne is not caused by dirt. Thus, you don’t need to over-wash or use harsh scrubs. Excessive cleaning can irritate and dry out your skin that can prompt your skin to produce more oil, fuelling the onset of pimples/acne. Just 2 gentle washings in a day are good enough.
(ii) Always choose oil-free and/or noncomedogenic products (they don’t clog pores) on your face.
(iii) Never pick at or squeeze out blemishes. Popping pimples can push in acne bacteria deeper into your skin. Picking can result into more inflammation and permanent scarring as well.
(iv) Don’t allow acne to stress you. Do what you can to improve your skin-conditions and if need be then consulting a dermatologist, and keep doing the things you enjoy.
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