Up to 85% of adolescents experience acne. In spite of the fact that acne is so common, having acne during these vulnerable years can make a teen feel embarrassed and alone. Kids especially feel an intense pressure to look their best and conform to some flawless ideal. Teens are beginning to discover who they are while at the same time trying to cope with the physical changes in their bodies. Moodiness often results, straining their relationships with family members. As a parent, you may be at a loss when it comes to helping your child. Talking to your acne-prone teenager and encouraging them to express their feelings are helpful. Helping your child find the right acne treatment system that ultimately enables them to control their acne breakouts will go a long way in bolstering their confidence.
Puberty is happening much earlier today than in previous generations. While it has been reported to begin as early as age seven, puberty in girls generally starts closer to age eleven or twelve and a little later in boys. Oily skin is one of the first signs. The increase in androgen hormones, which causes oil glands to enlarge and produce more oil, gets the ball rolling.
Teen acne often starts with a few blackheads and little pimples around the nose, later spreading to the cheeks and forehead. Boys generally have more severe acne than girls. Athletes are more inclined to have acne on their backs, chests, shoulders, upper arms and even buttocks. Like all forms of acne, teen acne is treatable. Sadly, believing that acne is a rite of passage, teens often take it upon themselves to try every available "zit" cream in the drugstore, ending up with dry, irritated skin that is still breaking out.
Hormones and genetics, which are beyond anyone’s control, are the main causes of acne. However, there are other factors at play, which you can control to prevent your acne from flaring. Cosmetics with a greasy consistency may clog pores so switching to an oil-free product is a smart move. Friction caused by pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, tight collars or baseball caps, or even constant touching of your skin, can worsen acne. Harsh scrubbing can irritate and dry out skin, making it susceptible to infection. And picking or squeezing blemishes spreads bacteria and increases inflammation often leading to more breakouts. Hormonal fluctuations from stress and menstrual cycles can make acne flare-up. Birth control pills may help reduce hormonal ups and downs. Exercise, sleep, and meditation have all been shown to help lessen stress levels.
Prevention is key in controlling teen acne. Beyond managing the cofactors mentioned above, in most cases, you can clear visible breakouts and minimize future ones by treating your skin daily with the right combination of medicines. Getting help for your acne is critical to prevent it from worsening and potentially scarring.
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