The teenage years are a difficult time, with raging hormones, peer pressure, identity crises, and changing bodies. If that’s not hard enough, Mother Nature threw acne into the mix to make life for teens a little more miserable.

While acne is not totally understood, what is known is that when teenagers go through puberty their hormones can get out of balance. Androgens, a male hormone, increases in both boys and girls during puberty, which stimulates their sebaceous glands to produces more oil.

All things are not equal when it comes to teens and acne; there are a number of factors that can influence the severity of breakouts. Acne can be passed on genetically, most likely through the mother’s side of the family. Also, certain medications and drugs can influence the severity of acne breakouts.  At Skin Therapease we have seen a direct correlation between certain foods and acne breakouts. Some of the worst offenders include dairy products, diet sodas, and greasy foods.

Acne breakouts or pimples generally start with clogged pores, blackheads or comodones. They usually congregate on the face but in more severe cases can be found on the neck, back, or chest. In more severe cases you may find papules, which are inflamed lesions with small tender red bumps, pustules, which are inflamed lesions filled with pus, nodules, which are deep hard lesions that are often painful and cysts, which are deep pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.

A healthy skin care regime can help teens prevent or lessen acne breakouts. Some simple steps include:

  • Wash the affected areas once in the morning and once before bed. An appropriate cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will both decrease oil and bacteria on the skin.
  • Moisturize with an oil-free product or lotion. Teen skin needs to be balanced, not dry, which can cause irritation; and not too oily which can lead to further breakouts.
  • Always wear a sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF. Some sunscreens are better than others; look for a matte finish which will help prevent breakouts.

Tips to prevent breakouts include:

1. Don’t touch your face or squeeze pimples, as it can cause infections and scarring.

2. Clean your telephone and keyboards to avoid bacteria around your mouth and the side of your face.

3. Clean your sunglasses or glasses regularly to prevent breakouts around the bridge of your nose.

4. Always remove your make up before going to bed.

5. Wash your face after exercising.

6. Keep your hair clean and away from your face, and avoid skin or hair products that contain alcohol..

7. Drink lots of water to cleanse your system and for effective elimination.

8. Look for make up products that state that they are non-comedongenic or hypoallergenic.

9. Always use new blades for shaving, old razors can be irritating and harbor bacteria.

10. Eat healthy, lots of fruit and vegetables including whole grains and high fiber.