Thursday, June 21, 2007

Simple Solutions To Teenage Acne

Every year, more than 20 million teenagers of all cultures and nationalities suffer from acne. The onset and duration of acne can be emotionally devastating for teenagers, primarily because they are going through a period of extreme self-consciousness about their physical appearance and body image. However, it is important to know that over 85% of the United States’ population has suffered from acne of some kind during their life. In fact, acne is the most common skin disorder known.

During the teenage years, a person will want to look and feel his or her best. However, unfortunately, this is usually not the time that this wish will be granted. Typically, during the teenage period, acne is at its most severe and almost unavoidable, usually due to the constantly changing levels of hormones in the teenager’s body.

Acne is most likely to occur during times of hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance causes oil secretions to increase and mix with dead skin cells on the skin’s surface. This combination results in acne. Although acne is going to occur, there are some methods and techniques that can be used to prevent and reduce teenage acne.

At the onset of puberty, the body begins to produce androgens; which are a certain type of hormone. Usually, more boys than girls experience severe teenage acne because the male hair follicles on the skin are blocked very easily. Once the extra oil combines with the dead skin and even dirt within the hair follicle, acne will occur in the form of redness, blackheads, or even pustules on the skin’s surface.

A good skin regimen can help reduce or prevent teenage acne. Following such a regimen will typically help reduce the intensity of acne outbursts as well. It is wise to wash the facial skin every hour with cool water, especially after exercising or working out. Before bed, a mild soap and astringent should be used to remove any remaining dirt, make-up, or dead skin from the pores. After washing the face, an acne prevention cream can be used, especially if there is acne activity present. Most over-the-counter acne creams consist of sulphur, retinoic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or azelaic acid. There are more natural products that include sandalwood powder, cedar wood, herbal masks, aloe vera, lavender oil, rosewater, lemon juice and clay masks.

In addition to a proper skincare regimen, a teenager’s diet will dramatically affect the onset and severity of acne. A diet rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin E and zinc comes highly recommended by skincare professionals. Such a diet would consist of foods such as nuts, liver, eggs, milk, fish and green leafy vegetables like spinach.

Even though there is a multitude of over-the-counter and herbal home remedies available for treating acne, they may not always work right away. If your teenage son or daughter does not respond to these within a month or so, it is highly recommended to see a dermatologist. If treatment is not successful, it could result in permanent scarring and lowered self-esteem in your child.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Acne