Acne Treatment: Tips for Teens

About 17 million people in the United States are affected by acne, nearly 8 out of every 10 teens or pre-teens. Think about that for a minute, that’s 80% and that’s a pretty staggering number. More and more dermatologists are reporting seeing acne in children as young as 7. Some think this is happening because more children are reaching puberty at a younger age. The reasons for this have been attributed to everything from hormones in our food supply to other environmental factors.

Whatever the reasons and no matter how common acne is among your friends, you just want it gone as soon as possible! Here are some tips to help prevent acne breakouts and treat them when they do occur.

Wash Your Face! Wash Your Face! Wash Your Face! It may seem like common sense to most but you would be surprised by the number of people who don’t do it regularly. Wash your face at least twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser and try not to scrub too hard. Vigorous scrubbing can actually worsen the appearance of acne because it irritates the skin.

Hands Off! Keep your hands away from your face and do not pop or squeeze pimples. The oils on your hands can make the problem (over production of oil) even worse. Squeezing or popping a pimple can distribute bacteria and make your breakouts worse and can lead to scarring.

Keep it Clean! Keep the surface of your cell phone clean with alcohol wipes and wash your linens regularly (at least once per week). If you find your acne is still a problem, then do it more often. If facial acne persists, you might consider keeping extra pillowcases on hand and change them more frequently (a couple of times per week or even every couple of days).

Ladies: Remove Your Make-up! Again, it may sound like common sense but you would be surprised how many don’t. This means removing every stitch of the stuff EVERY night before bed.

Keep Hair Products on the Hair! Avoid getting hair products on your face (even conditioner) as they can clog pores and make breakouts at the hairline more common. If you find that your back breaks out frequently, take the time to wash your back with soap AFTER you condition your hair. Also, try to keep your hair off your face during exercise or when doing any activity where you might sweat. Wash your face immediately following a workout. If you wear hats or headbands during exercise, wash these items frequently.

Keep it Cool! It goes without saying that the teen years can be a pretty stressful time. Stress can definitely make acne worse so try to relax and enjoy these years as much as you can. Taking a walk or listening to music can help to reduce the stress in your life can go a long way toward your overall sense of well being.

If you do find yourself among the 80%, there are some over the counter products which can be very effective. Benzoyl Peroxide products work by killing the bacteria which causes acne and sometimes may be all you need. Salicylic Acid products work by drying up the skin and sloughing off the top layer and can also be effective treatments.

Here are a few that I recommend:

Benzoyl Peroxide Products:

Salicylic Acid Products:

With these simple and useful tips you can be on your way to having the clear, healthy skin you have always wanted!