Acne is a skin condition that cause small bumps or pimples to form on the skin.
It’s very common, affecting most teens and young adults at least once. Chances are, you’ve experienced it yourself at one point in your teenage life. But, why do teenagers seem more prone to acne breakouts? Here’s some insight into what causes acne and some steps to take to help teens deal with it.
What Causes Acne?
Acne occurs when dead skin cells and natural body oil, called sebum, clog the pores. Sometimes, bacteria on our skin gets trapped in these pores, causing them to become inflamed or infected.
The exact causes of acne are not fully understood, but studies show a link between acne breakouts and hormones in both girls and boys during puberty. These hormones increase the body’s production of sebum, which could explain why they are so much more common during the teen years.
What Are the Symptoms?
While the symptoms of acne differ from person to person, it most often manifests itself as sebum- or pus-filled bumps on the skin with differing irritation, depending on the size and/or infection of the blemish.
Whiteheads and blackheads are the most common forms of acne in teenagers, often due to the hormonal changes in the
body during their critical growth period. Inflamed acne can be more serious and damages the skin in ways that milder forms of acne does not. Some symptoms of more prominent conditions include redness, swelling, itchiness and pain around the affected area. This type of acne is more prone to spread and persists longer than milder cases.
How Is It Treated?
The level of treatment required for acne depends on both the frequency and severity of symptoms. For mild cases, there is an array of over-the-counter creams and solutions available for all skin types. These products may claim to be completely effective, but no single cure will work for everybody. It’s important that you (or your teen) don’t get discouraged if a treatment doesn’t work.
When Should Teens Seek Help?
If over-the-counter treatments don’t seem to have any effect, you may want to consult your teen’s doctor or dermatologist. A doctor can answer any questions your teen has, as well as recommend an effective course of treatment.
Make sure you write down any instructions the doctor gives so that you can help make them a part of your teen’s routine. If your child’s acne doesn’t seem too troubling or severe, but they still seem upset by it, you should also set up an appointment with their healthcare professional. Even if their acne is relatively mild, they could be suffering from serious anxiety or even depression.
Even though people of all ages are vulnerable to acne, it is an issue that many people associate with their teen years and “growing up.” With the existing connections between hormonal changes and acne, it seems to be true that teens struggle with acne more often than adults. But, no matter what causes acne, it is a very common and treatable part of being a teenager.