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Acne Prone Teen

Published: June 8, 2000
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I have a severe acne problem, how can I make my face clear up?
Signed: Acne Prone Teen

Dear Acne Prone Teen,

 

Like most teenagers, you are probably experiencing problems with acne breakouts. This is common during the teenage years due to the change in your hormone levels.

Acne is the result of overactive oil glands at the base of hair follicles. The oil glands can become infected with bacteria resulting in inflammation and pus formation. Skin cells can plug pores causing white heads or blackheads. Eating oily foods, soft drinks or chocolate does not cause acne.

One can work to prevent and nourish skin to avoid further breakouts and control ones that occur. Correct skin care is vitally important. Use mild face soap 2-3 times a day, massage face gently while washing with warm water and rinsing with cool. Some breakouts may need medicated face wash. The most effective over the counter washes contain benzoyl peroxide (use only once a day at first). Excessive scrubbing during washing is discouraged because it can loosen skin cells that just go back to clog pores causing more pimples. Also, avoid popping or squeezing infected areas no matter how tempting. This pressure only serves to force the oil and bacteria further into the skin layers making cysts that cause persistent pimples and even worse, scarring. Other sources of acne can be caused by anything that puts pressure on the skin such as hats, headbands, hair, or even leaning on hands. Acne has also been seen to flare up during times of stress and tension due to hormones.

 

The most effective way to combat acne is to be diligent about your skin care and to know that some breakouts are unpreventable and go along with this already difficult time in your life. If however your acne does not seem to respond or gets in the way of your self-image, you can talk to your doctor and/or dermatologist (doctor who treats the skin). There are some medications that will reduce flare-ups and help to clear up the skin in severe cases. These medications need to be used under the close supervision of a doctor.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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