Finding the best acne treatment for teens can be challenging. There are many factors that affect the effectiveness of treatments, like skin type. Nevertheless, we present to you some tips on how to help teenagers manage acne.
How acne is formed
Diet has nothing to do with acne. So eat as many pizza, fries, or chocolate as you want. Stress has nothing to do with it as well, but it can affect and worsen the acne problem.
But if you want to know the real culprit behind the raging pimples, mostly in the face, it is the changing of hormones in the human body. That is why the season that most acne arises is the season of being a teenager (as well as when women’s menstruation is coming). The puberty period is where glands produce more oil, clogging the pores. The said glands which are responsible for the increased production of oil is stimulated by hormones.
How to manage acne
Teenagers’ number one enemy is acne. Sometimes, it is the reason behind their loss of self-confidence, losing their full potential as well. Fortunately, there are available acne treatments for teens today that they can find very beneficial.
The following are some of the treatments that a teenager may consider:
- OTC (Over-the-Counter) Acne Treatments
If you want to try acne medications, look for acne products that contain the ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. An MD dermatologist by the name of Charles E. Crutchfield III explains the different benefits of the two ingredients. Acne products containing salicylic acid remove the clog in the pores, meanwhile, benzoyl peroxide has a mild anti-inflammatories properties which also kill bacteria, stopping its process to grow. However, benzoyl peroxide is better to use under a dermatologist observation because it can decolorize the user’s skin (most especially if you are a person of color).
Amy Wechsler, a New York dermatologist, reminds teenager not to use over two OTC medicines as it can lead the skin to dryness, turning it to a worse state. Additionally, according to Dr. Wehcsler, skin care products that contain alcohol should be avoided as it can cause acne outbreak once the skin is irritated.
Furthermore, habits such as popping, squeezing, scratching, and picking the acne can lead to skin infection as well as leaving a scar once it heals.
- Facial Care Procedures and Advises
- Wash the face twice a day gently and daily. On a daily basis, use two and a half benzoyl peroxide wash one time and a gentle non-soap cleanser the other time over lukewarm water. Instead of using a washcloth when washing your face, use your fingertips.
- Spot treatment. Use salicylic acid for about 2% on the affected area after washing your face with cleanser. But you may skip this step if you already applied benzoyl peroxide wash.
- Use moisturizer. Using a moisturizer with the label “non-comedogenic”, “non-acnegenic”, or “oil-free” is much better. The same goes for sunscreen and makeup products, too.
- Washing your hair is also important especially if it is oily. There is a big chance that the oil on your hair may get to your face. You don’t want oil going on your face, right? So there are instances that you need an immediate face wash such as after exercising or doing sport. Moreover, any object that may absorb and hold sweat on your skin needs cleaning. For example, helmet chinstraps require washing or the use of alcohol to clean it right after usage. On the other hand, pimples on the other parts of your body, such as your back, may be resolved by taking off your sweaty shirt after doing some activity (e.g. sports or exercise) and jumping in the shower.
Sudden Pimple Issue has a Solution
Circumstances like having a sudden pimple pop right before an important event are admittedly problematic. Dr. Wechsler suggested the following easy steps to solve this problem.
- Make a warm compress and apply it to a pimple for 10 minutes. This process will develop a pimple.
- Afterward, do the spot treatment we’ve mentioned earlier. Apply the 2% salicylic acid product gently, but using cotton swabs add pressure to both sides of the acne. Anything will come out of it if it is ready, so never use your fingers and don’t squeeze it as well.
- Apply an ice pack if the blemish does not drain.
There are other ways to solve sudden acne problems such as the use of 1% hydrocortisone cream. However, according to Dr. Wechsler, this is not always the solution for the acne issue.
There is a spot-treat and hide solution at hand for emergency purposes. This is through using a blemish eraser stick that contains salicylic acid and applying a concealer makeup.
Unhappy with your acne problem after trying so many ways? Go for a dermatologist! They can provide a better prescription against acne. Dermatologists may also use heat or laser treatments to eliminate the unwanted bacteria off your face. If you have large, painful acne, they may also inject corticosteroid to ease the soreness.
If your acne produces scar on your face, dermatologists may treat it, removing or decreasing it on the process using dermabrasion, surgery, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and skin fillers.
Acne Tips for People of Color
If you belong to the people of color and encounter dark spots and keloids challenging, try these tips:
- Dark Spots. Dark spots are the blemishes of a healed acne. They fade but not instantly. So you may want to use skin-lightening products or cover it using concealer makeup so they are less visible.
- Keloids. Being aggressive in treating acne, according to Dr. Crutchfeld, is a good idea to prevent developing keloids. It is because keloids are scars that are tough to remove.
Some advice before using some acne medication
As other diseases do not have an overnight cure, so is acne. So beware to the “miracle cures” advertise in radio, television, or internet, promising you a fast acne treatment. Most of the time, these kind of advertisement are just baits so you will buy their products.
Dr. Crutchfield noted that you have to make a two-month commitment on a regular basis of a good acne treatment before you agree that the product is working or not.