Acne care for teen girls
By Shari Levine
If you have acne, you are not alone. Between 17 to 28 million people in the United States alone are dealing with acne. That's about 85% of the entire population!
What is acne?
When pimples, pustules, papules, nodules, cysts, blackheads, and whiteheads (zits) appear on the skin, this is acne.
These tiny, annoying bumps appear most often on the face, neck, shoulders, and back. Most teenagers have the mild form of acne, called non-inflammatory acne and just get a few blackheads and whiteheads. However, some get a more serious case of acne called inflammatory acne which involves more severe breakouts of pimples and cysts.
What Causes Acne?
Is acne hereditary?
Heredity or your family's experience with acne has a strong influence on your chances of having it too. If your parents or siblings had acne, it is more likely that you have inherited oilyskin and a sensitivity to the effect of hormones.
Who gets more acne, girls or boys?
Boys produce 10 times as much androgen (a hormone) as girls, which is why boys get more severe acne. Androgens stimulate the production of sebum-producing glands.
Does dirt cause acne?
Poor hygiene does NOT cause acne. Having zits does NOT mean you are dirty. But when bacteria are present on the skin, they tend to infect the oil glands. The bacteria thrive on the sebum (oil) in the hair follicles and then grow beneath the skin which leads to infection. This produces the redness and pus we know as the classic pimple. In more serious cases, the infection spreads deeper into the skin and causes cysts. Cystic acne is more likely to lead to permanent scarring.
Do you have to give up French fries and chocolate if you want to get rid of your acne?
French fries, chocolate and dairy products do not cause acne. Many people say that they do, but it has never been proven. It is just a myth.
Can stress cause acne?
Stress doesn't cause acne, but it can make acne worse for some people.
Stressed out? Check out Girl Zone's advice on how not to stress.
Can certain medications cause acne?
Certain drugs used to treat epilepsy and tuberculosis can cause acne or make it worse.
What's the story with popping?
Popping your zits may be irresistible at times, but experts say, Don't do it! Squeezing the bumps on your skin can force the oil and bacteria deeper, making acne worse!
Should you SCRUB and scrub and then scrub some more!?
Scrubbing and scrubbing can actually cause MORE harm than good. Over-washing can irritate the skin and increase the number of loose skin cells. These loose cells can lead to more clogged pores. Anything that puts pressure on or rubs the skin can make acne worse. This includes your hands (holding up your head during a boring class), headbands, hats, etc.
What's A Girl To Do?
Wait. When puberty is over acne usually clears up.
Don't want to wait? Understandable. Here are some doctor-recommend strategies to help get rid of acne:
Keep your skin clean by washing twice a day with mild soap. Use warm water for washing and cool water for rising.
Use water-based hypo-allergenic cosmetics (non-comedogenic).
Reduce stress because stress can make acne worse by stimulating the adrenal glands which produce the hormone androgen.
Use a sunblock. For some people sunlight improves their skin's condition. It has the opposite effect for others. You can buy a water-based, non-comedogenic sunscreen at most pharmacies.
Over-The-Counter Medicated Lotions
In addition to these strategies, dermatologists recommend that you try over the counter medicated lotions or gels containing benzoyl peroxide. You can also try skin cleansers with alpha hydroxy acids or AHA. Be sure to follow the directions carefully when using any over-the-counter remedy.
If you have a lasting case of acne that does not respond to over-the-counter lotions, you may want to go to a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin problems. A dermatologist can work with you to find the most appropriate acne treatment. She or he can prescribe several types of medications to treat acne.
A dermatologist can prescribe a medication that will really help you...
There are many types of medications that your dermatologist may suggest to combat acne. She or he may recommend a topical medication which can produce a noticeable improvement of acne within two to seven weeks with minimum irritation.
Antibiotics either taken as a pill or applied to the skin as a cream are sometimes used to treat acne in teenagers. These medicines work by reducing the bacteria in the skin which cause acne.
You might also want to consider natural remedies -
Over two-thirds of all teens see bumps on their faces when they look in the mirror . They didn't do anything wrong to deserve or to get acne AND neither did you! Treat your acne by taking good care of yourself both inside and out.
Make-up Tips For Dealing With Acne
Stay out of the red zone! Avoid red and pink shades, which can draw attention to irritated skin. Instead, keep it neutral with warm browns and golden or peachy tones.
Oil is not slick! Products with oil in them will not only aggravate acne, but will change color throughout the day. The result will be orangy make-up. Avoid products with oil.
Powder down! To draw attention away from pits or scarring, try to reduce the amount of powder you use. Powder can settle into scarred areas and make them stand out more.