Teen Acne Treatments
Teen acne can be a painful and embarrassing condition to have. During the teen years, hormone levels fluctuate and vary significantly, causing glands in the skin to overproduce sebum oils. While normally these oils are beneficial and necessary for the moisturizing and protection of the skin, too much leads to clogged pores, oily skin, whiteheads, and blackheads. The good news is that there is a wide variety of different teen acne treatments, ranging from home treatments to prescribed medications.
Taking control of the cleaning and care of your skin is an important first step in learning to control and prevent teen acne. Each night, warm up your skin and open your pores using a wet, hot cloth, or a steam inhalation. Next, clean your skin with a gentle cleanser, avoiding harsh hand soaps, and give your face a rinse. Cold water will help to cover your pores again, but for better effect, use a natural toner like lemon juice, salt water, or if you have broken skin on your face, use witch hazel water.
There is a multitude of teen acne treatments on the market, but many are harmful to acne-affected skin and will worsen symptoms. Lean towards light lotions, creams, and gels that will not cause excessive moisturizing of skin that is already too oily. Test out different skin care products to see what suits your skin. Avoid oil-based makeups and use lotions and gels that are light on the skin, and won’t cause further clogging of the follicles and pores.
When shopping for topical treatments for teen acne, there is almost no end to the over-the-counter products that promise to erase troublesome blackheads and whiteheads forever. Whatever product you choose, it is important to understand your skin type, avoid clogging your pores with heavy chemicals, and to follow label directions very carefully. Many contain chemicals such as benzyl peroxide that kill bacteria, as well as natural compounds like sulfur and botanical acids that thin the skin and reduce inflammation. Use teen acne treatments that are recommended or formulated by dermatologists, and avoid anything containing heavy oils that will further clog your pores. Aloe vera is a light gel on your skin and has shown in studies to be effective against the bacteria that cause acne. Vitamin A creams are great at balancing sebum oil production in the skin, stimulating tissue recovery and reducing inflammation
When over-the-counter acne products irritate the skin or do not do the job, there are several forms of prescription medications that you can get from your doctor or dermatologist. The most popular treatments for acne is oral and topical antibiotics — drugs that will kill bacteria in your body and on your skin, preventing infection and inflammation. While this might do the job, antibiotics are known to cause digestive problems and immune problems in some people. Isotretinoin is one of the strongest non-antibiotic prescriptions available but is only rarely prescribed to teen acne patients, due to its harsh side effects. Dermatologists also prescribe topical corticosteroids as anti-inflammatories to take down the swelling and discomfort associated with lesions. In some severe cases, such when you experience cysts or nodules, dermatologists might inject corticosteroids directly into the skin.
Laser therapies are available to teenagers when their acne does not respond to any other form of acne treatment — or their skin is too sensitive does not tolerate topical products. Lasers use light and heat to kill acne-causing bacteria in the skin, as well as remove blemishes and scar tissues. There are several different types of laser treatments available — some are very invasive, removing layers of skin from the affected area, while others are non-invasive, using mild light and heat that do not damage the skin at all. What form of acne laser treatment your dermatologist recommends for you depends on the severity of your case, and your age — doctors rarely like to use laser treatments on patients under the age of 25. If your acne case is severe and does not respond to other forms of therapy, talk with your doctor or dermatologist about laser treatment and see if it is right for you.
While there are many myths about the effects of food on acne, having a healthy and balanced diet is important to prevent severe outbreaks of acne, to strengthen the immune system, and to repair damaged skin cells. Specific vitamins and minerals perform a critical role in the teen acne treatments, and you should always make sure to include these as part of your diet or consider taking them in the form of teen supplements. Zinc is a mineral required for the healing of acne and the balancing of oil production in the skin. Vitamin A and C strengthen immune support, reduce skin inflammation, and support tissue healing. Vitamin B5 helps to balance sebum oil output, and vitamin B6 reduces the body’s sensitivity to high testosterone levels. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 found in fish, nuts, and seeds, also have a beneficial effect on teen acne — both balance inflammation-causing chemicals within the body and support healthy skin.