Oct 16, 2007

Best Ways For Teens (and Adults) to Treat Acne

By Michele Buccia

The teen years are probably the most stressful time in a person's life. Adding the downside of acne doesn't help the self-esteem of a young adult.

Before puberty begins the body produces hormones called androgens which cause the oil glands to produce extra oil. This oil often joins together with dead skin cells. This combination gets into the pores and traps the bacteria and oil in the skin. The oil continues to produce while the pore becomes swollen becoming acne.

Here are some general tips on how to care for teen acne.

1. Never touch your skin with unwashed hands. Hands that are not washed with soap carry the germs from everything you touch throughout the day. These germs most definitely can cause teen acne or make it worse.

2. Wash your face every morning and night with a cleanser geared toward acne skin. Popular brands are Cetaphil, Basis, Purpose and Neutrogena. Washing more than twice a day can actually produce more oil in the skin.

3. Products such as Oxy and Clearasil work for spot treating teen acne. These should be used at bedtime only and not washed off.

4. There are several drug store brands such as Neutrogena that sell masks for acne skin. These should be used as directed -once or twice a week before bedtime. Masks are usually applied between 10 to 20 minutes and then washed off.

5. Moisturizer is not always needed for teen acne. Because the hormones are changing during this time, teen skin can become oilier than normal. Therefore moisturizers can cause more acne problems.

6. If you choose to use a toner, find one without alcohol. Alcohol will strip the outer layer of teen skin causing the production of more oil.

7. Exfoliating is great for teen acne because exfoliating will brush off the dead skin which combined with oil contributes to acne. HOWEVER - be careful not to use an exfoliant that is too harsh which could actually tear your skin. A product geared toward acne skin is best: such as Neutrogena or St. Ives Scrub (Medicated)

8. Using non-comedogenic and oil-free makeup and sun care products are basically mandatory if you want to protect your teen skin from further breakouts.

9. Do not allow your skin to burn in the sun or tanning bed. Sunburn will make your acne worse by causing more blocked pores because dead skin cells are shed faster.

10. DO NOT SQUEEZE OR "POP" your acne. This can actually cause an infection within the skin making your skin condition much worse. Also picking can cause permanent scars.

Remember because the teen body is going through a normal hormonal change, teen acne is very common. However, it can take up to 2 months before the skin starts to clear. If after that time the above tips do not seem to work, parents should be asked to make an appointment with a dermatologist. With the help of a professional, teen acne can most definitely be overcome.

Michele Bucci is a licensed esthetician and contributing editor to Begin With the Skin.Com - a site created to
answer your questions about skin care!
Want to discover how to pick the right products for your skin? Need to learn more about wrinkles, acne, aging and more?

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