Coping With Acne For Teenagers

An outline of proper ways to deal with teen acne, what to look for in skincare products for acne, and when to seek a dermatologist.

Acne is, to most teens, the curse of growing up.There are days through high school when, to your horror, you are greeted by a blotchy or spotty face in the mirror.Frequently there seems to be very little that can be done about the problem.Coping with acne is a challenge that you and most of your friends will have in common, but if you begin the process educated you have a better chance of beating the beast.

WHAT CAUSES ACNE

As our teachers and parents keep reminding us, adolescence is a time when our bodies are changing.Sometimes, it feels like our bodies are rebelling against us in hopes of social destruction.During adolescence your skin begins to produce a substance called sebum in a big way.Sebum is a normal secretion intended to keep the skin soft, but as teens there is just a lot more of this stuff.That is what makes your skin look and feel oily at times.When you have a ton of sebum and then your pores get blocked (with dirt, dead cells, or by some unfortunate mystery), sebum builds up, gets infected with a nasty little germ, and becomes a blemish.

We aren't exactly sure why pores sometimes get blocked up.It isn't always because of poor hygiene.Sometimes people with the best skincare habits still breakout.Poor hygiene adds to the equation though, so if you are trying to clear up your skin, you should begin there.

SKINCARE FOR TEEN ACNE

The basics of skincare are the same for men and women.If you are a young man with acne, do not skip steps!The basic steps of skincare are cleanse, tone, treat, and moisturize.You should use that order twice daily; when you first get up, and immediately before bed.You can spend between and 5 and 50 dollars on over-the-counter treatments for your skin, so here are some tips of choosing your supplies.

~CLEANSERS

When choosing your cleanser, begin with something mild.Your frustration might be saying "get something harsh, that will de-scale my skin" but don't listen to it.Harsh acne cleansers can strip away the oils that are there to protect your skin and make it red and raw, and even more prone to breakouts.

~TONERS

Most toners are alcohol based.This means that when they are swiped over your tender, acne riddled skin they WILL burn.There is no getting around it.For clearing up your acne look for a toner with a low amount of alcohol combined with salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide.All toners will tingle a bit when you use them, but if your toner causes you pain look for a milder solution.There are over-the-counter toners for sensitive, broken-out skin specifically designed to not cause pain.



~TREATMENTS

This is the core of your battle versus breakouts.Typical over-the-counter treatments are white or clear ointments based on salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide.There are also very effective herbal treatments based on tea tree oil.

Dab these thinly over problem areas and let them sink in.When you use your treatment, remember to treat the entire area that is prone to breakouts, not just the blemishes.

There are also over-the-counter tablets that will help balance your body and cure your acne from the inside out.Be aware of allergy restrictions!

Once you've started using any of these products, be certain to use sunscreen and a hat when you go into the sun.All acne treatments will make you sun sensitive, and a sun burn is as ugly as a blemish.

~MOISTURIZERS

The treatments that help with acne will torment your skin.After ripping all of the oil, dirt and germ from the surface, you have to replace some moisture or you will end up with white flaky patches of skin that nothing can hide.

When looking for a moisturizer, the words "oil free" will be your guiding light.You want to moisturize and sooth your skin, not grease it up again.Very light creams that come in pump bottles are very effective and usually cool and soothing.Most solid white creams that come in pots will be too heavy.Moisturizing gels (typically sold at cosmetics counters, not drug stores) are ideally light, scentless, and oil free.

WHEN OTC ISN'T ENOUGH

Religiously treat your face twice per day, every day, no matter what.If after several months of treatment, your skin is still significantly blemished, it may be time to talk to a dermatologist

Prescription treatments are much stronger than over-the-counter varieties and the instructions should be followed to the letter.Many of these treatments are cumulative, so if you skip a day you lose pace and progress.There are pills to be taken as well as creams and gels for your skin.There are very potent cleansing regimes and there are semi-surgical procedures for dealing with stubborn scars and blemishes.

Your options are never at an end, but remember that these treatments take time.Give yourself plenty of time to be sure that your treatments are doing their jobs.Also, keep in mind that you are not alone.90% of teenagers have acne.Some hide it under makeup and some don't.Most, however, realize that the blemishes that they see very clearly on their own skin are invisible on the faces to the people they care for.

© High Speed Ventures 2011