when you’re a teenager and you’re just figuring out who you are, and you are super concerned with the way you look everyday, you get acne and it’s not your fault. androgens are being stimulated by puberty, hormonal changes that everyone’s going to go through, boys and girls. genetics have a huge role, so you have to look at your parents, you have to look at your siblings, you have to look evenat aunts and uncles, grandparents. and the way that they went through their teenage years will have an impact on you. the four things that cause teen acne are medications, cosmetics, hormones and stress. stress won’t give you acne, but it will certainly make any existing acne that you have worse. a lot of the over-the-counter products are good.
salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinol â€” they are all very helpful, but they have to be done in the correct manner. teenagers end up buying 5 or 6 over-the-counter acne products and then using all of them and scrubbing their faces twice a day, and using an exfoliant twice a day. and they end up causing skin irritation, which is redness and flaking and dryness. if you dry the skin out too much, then the oil glands kick in to overload, and they try to producemore oil to fix the dry skin. picking is horrible. i know teenagers say, "it’s right on the surface, i couldn’t possibly leave it alone,
i can’t go to school like that," but you runthe risk of pushing half the bacteria out and half the bacteria deeper in the skin. the medicines that we use will help with the acne and will help with the scarring from the very beginning. the other thing that makes scarring more permanent in my teenagers is that they like the sun. they say, when i get a tan, it looks better. well, it temporarily dries you out and it may give you a little tan, which may help hide the redness, but ultimately, you’re cementing your scars. we know that sun exposure causes skin cancer. that’s really not a safe way to try to fix your acne.
i would like teenagers and parents to understand that if you can’t control your acne with an over-the-counter line of products relativelyeasily, then is the time to come in and see a healthcare provider with a specialty indermatology. there weren’t that many options when your parents were growing up, and there are a ton of options now. and they’re available and they’re affordable and they’re safe. we can’t cure acne, but what we can do is manage it to the point that it looks like it’s notthere while you finish going through puberty.