Causes and Treatment

Acne is a term for pimples or "zits." They often show up on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Nearly 85% of people in the United States have had acne at some point in their lives. Acne is most common among teenagers because of all the changes that happen during puberty. However, acne can affect people of any age. Even infants can have acne.

teen acneWhat is Teen Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples. Lots of teens have acne because their hormones are changing, and the change causes the skin's oil glands to produce more oil. Acne usually starts during puberty-the teen years-because of all the changes in a teen's body. The hormone called androgen also plays an important role. It makes glands produce more oil during puberty. Acne most often appears on the face but may also be found on the back, chest, and shoulders.

Why Do We Get Teen Acne?

There are many factors that can lead to acne. One common cause is fluctuating hormones that come with puberty. The changing levels of certain hormones can cause the sebaceous glands (oil glands) to become more stimulated and produce more oil. This extra oil in turn creates the right environment for acne-causing bacteria to grow.Another factor in acne is genetics. Acne has a tendency to run in families, so if your parents had bad breakouts when they were teens you are more likely to have them too. Oily skin can also contribute to an increased likelihood of getting acne.

How Do You Treat Teen Acne?

Skincare is very important when treating acne, but it isn't usually enough by itself. There are many over-the-counter acne medications that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide which can help. Many of these products are not recommended for use during pregnancy. Only a doctor can prescribe stronger medication if the over-the-counter treatments don't work or if there is something more going on that requires professional care.Some treatment options include:
  • Abrasive face washes and cleansers
  • Topical benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical retinoids
  • Oral antibiotics

Why Should You Treat Teen Acne?

Acne is more than just a skin problem. While it isn't dangerous, acne can cause both physical and emotional scars. Having pimples all over your face or body can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, which in turn might lead to poor self-esteem. It's also easier to treat acne before it has a chance to leave scars. Over-the-counter and prescription acne treatments will not work as well once your face is scarred.

When Should You See a Doctor About Teen Acne?

If you are concerned about your acne, it is best to talk with a dermatologist. The earlier an acne treatment plan is started, the better. It can take several months before you really start seeing results. A dermatologist can help you find the best acne treatment for you. It may take time to find what works best.There are quite a few people who suffer from acne their entire life, but most people suffer from it at some point in their lives. The amount of suffering depends on the severity of your condition and how well you treat it.Our providers are dedicated to working with you to manage your care through all the stages of your life. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child with New Beginnings Pediatrics, call us at (540) 739-3623! We can’t wait to meet you!