Acne – Teenage Torment

More than 80% of all teens get acne in some form. From the ages of 12 to 22, the chances are high that most will have some type of acne problem to deal with. Since it varies in severity from those who have just 1 or 2 pimples during the teen years to those who have severe acne, treatment options are different.

Acne is usually triggered by the onset of puberty. The hormones become more active and stimulate the sebaceous glands in the skin. These glands, which normally produce the right amount of sebum (oil) to lubricate your skin and hair, produce too much of it due to this stimulation. This excess oil can mix with your dead skin cells and clog the pores, leading to the growth of bacteria. This causes the formation of the redness, pain and swelling that we call acne.

The type of acne that teens get is called acne vulgaris or common acne. There are other types of acne such as acne rosacea, acne cosmetica and cystic acne. But acne vulgaris is the type associated with the teenage years and normally appears on the face, back (also called “bacne“), shoulders and chest.

The lesions (called comedones) that form because of acne vary in type and severity. The lesions that become clogged but remain open and darken are called blackheads. The ones that close up and tend to bulge outward are called whiteheads. A small, red and inflamed bump on the skin is called a papule. And red areas that are pus-filled are called pustules. The pus that collects is the body’s response to the bacteria. All of these lesions are commonly referred to as pimples or zits.

The most serious type of acne lesion is called a cyst or nodule. They are large, painful and pus-filled lesions that are set deep in the skin. Cystic acne almost always requires the intervention of a physician, and frequently leaves scars. Fortunately, most cases of teen acne are not of this sort.

Managing acne requires a daily regimen so that you can control existing acne and prevent future outbreaks. Wash your face twice a day and be sure to you scrub gently. Rubbing roughly or using harsh abrasives or cloths can irritate acne and actually make it worse. And washing too often can dry the skin, creating more dead skin cells to clog your pores.

This cleaning routine is even more important if you have long hair that touches your face, or you use gels and creams that can contribute to your acne problem. Any oils, creams, sprays or other foreign substances that get on your skin can exacerbate acne.

And try to use non-comedogenic cosmetics so that your makeup doesn’t aggravate the problem. Those that are labeled oil and fragrance free are OK to use as well. Those that contain lanolin or other greasy concoctions should be avoided.

If you have acne, there are lots of over the counter treatments available. Most contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as the active ingredient and are applied topically to the skin. Always use as directed to avoid any side effects like redness, peeling or dry skin. These medications come in different strengths, so you may need to experiment to find the best one for you.

If your acne is persistent or more severe then you may need a dermatologist. They can use stronger medications, sometimes coupled with antibiotics to tackle any acne problem. So if your case is not responding to home remedies or over the counter medicines, then a visit to a skin doctor may be in order.

Acne is a part of the teen experience that most of us have to contend with. It’s just one of those things that happens and you shouldn’t let affect you emotionally. In nearly all cases, those with teen acne outgrow it.

Stephanie McIntyre and Wendell Bryant are Internet developers. Visit their site at []

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Author: Uzumaki Naruto

"I want to see this market as a sharing market. Where merchants and customers sincerely support one another."

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