Acne can be a terrible problem for teenagers. Around 8 in 10 of them will develop teen acne at some point, although for many, it’s usually quite mild and can be managed through over-the-counter products and a careful skincare regime.
However, 3 in 10 teenagers will need to seek medical treatment to help manage their acne and prevent scars, and many could suffer psychological damage as a result such as low self-esteem, inhibition and anxiety.
What causes acne?
Your skin naturally produces an oily substance called sebum through the sebaceous gland, which reaches the surface of the skin through the hair follicles. Acne can be caused when the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum which mixes with dead skin cells and ends up plugging the pores around the follicles, causing either whiteheads or blackheads. The bacteria which normally live on the skin contaminate and infect the follicles, and end up resulting in spots.
Hormones can have a significant impact on acne, not just for teenagers. Acne can be a side-effect of contraception and is likely to recur when women go through the menopause. External factors which can cause or aggravate acne include cosmetics and hair gel, a condition known as ‘acne cosmetica’.
Acne shows itself in different forms:
The sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones, and in the case of boys, teen acne is triggered by increased levels of the testosterone hormone during puberty. In girls and women, acne can be caused by the hormone levels affected by the menstrual cycle.
How to treat acne
Mild acne can be managed by good skincare. This includes using a specific cleanser for your specific needs, and usually a topical vitamin A serum. Squeezing spots is not a good idea, as this can make the acne worse and cause permanent scarring. If you feel the need to use make-up to cover acne, always used mineral-based products to help allow the skin to ‘breathe’ (oil-based make-up will make things far worse); many of our patients like the bareMinerals range because of this. And, obviously, always remove your make-up completely at night.
How to treat severe acne
If over-the-counter medicines don’t work, or if your acne consists of nodules or cysts, it would be best to seek advice from your GP, or book an appointment with our consultant dermatologist. In addition, the Skin to Love Clinic offers Isolaz® treatment – approved by the American FDA – which uses a combination of vacuum and light technology to extract dirt and excessive oil and destroy bacteria, as well as the pulse dye laser Regenlite which kills the acne-causing bacteria and triggers an immune response to help tackle the causes of acne.
How to treat acne scarring
When acne has turned to scarring, there are measures you can take to help improve it. We have been able to reduce scarring using Derma FNS micro-needling treatments, as well as laser treatments such as Fraxel® 1550.
Contact us if you would like to make an appointment to see a specialist who can help you with teen acne or acne scarring.
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