Teens and Acne

June is acne awareness month, a good time to take a look at what causes acne and how best to treat it. For teens, acne is one of the most frustrating and embarrassing problems they face during an already awkward time. As if being a teenager isn’t difficult enough, having to have to deal with inflamed and angry skin only adds to their list of teenage nightmares.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States.” It is caused by sebum produced from the sebaceous glands. A combination of bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells can clog the pores resulting in pimples.


Acne can effect teens both physically and emotionally. Emotionally, acne is concerning because let’s face it, kids can be cruel and long term persistent acne can have an adverse effect on self esteem. Physically, acne is troubling because of the long term effects it can have on the skin. Cystic acne or pimples that have been picked too much can scar leaving the skin surface red or in some cases mottled with pock marks.


So how can you help your teen in the throws of acne?


1)    Assure them that there are solutions and that this problem is generally temporary. Try a few over-the-counter options to see if they help. Often times, the solution is as easy as making sure they are cleansing regularly.


2)    If you’re at-home treatment plan isn’t working, don’t be afraid to contact a professional esthetician or dermatologist to help treat the condition. In many cases the fix requires simple changes in the skincare routine or trying different products or prescriptions. In many cases however, more intense treatment may be needed to make a positive impact. Your esthetician or dermatologist will inform you of the options.


3)    Practice patience and don’t give up. Treating acne can be frustrating because not all treatments work for all kids. Trial and error may be the best way to determine the best course of treatment for your teen. In the mean time, assure them that it’s a process and you will eventually find a plan that works for them. And whatever you do, remind them not to pick! Picking at acne can spread bacteria which will worsen the problem and possibly produce scarring.


Teen acne isn’t going anywhere but don’t lose hope, there are many different treatment options practiced by both estheticians and dermatologists which can lead to a solution suitable for your teen.