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teenage girl looking at her facial acne in the mirror

Acne. Just say the word and watch your teenager run from the room. Dealing with acne is bad, but sometimes the harsh over-the-counter products that people use to deal with it are almost harsher.

What is acne?

Acne comes down to the sebaceous glands. These are the glands attached to hair follicles in the skin on the face, neck, back, and chest. These glands produce oil that keeps our skin and hair from drying out. This oil normally comes up to the surface and is released through the opening of the follicle/pore. This is the normal process.

Why Do Teens Get Acne?

There are many reasons teens get acne, but hormone changes and increased oil production are among the top teenage acne causes. Testosterone is the main culprit; while this hormone is usually thought of as a male hormone, both the male and female body produces it. The increase of testosterone levels during the teenage years helps the oil glands in skin grow larger, which allows the glands to produce more acne-causing sebum.

Other causes of acne include differences in the ways people’s skin responds to acne, the types of bacteria present on their skin, stress, certain types of medication, and using greasy products or cosmetics on the skin. Friction or pressure on the skin can cause acne too. Genetics also play a role in acne, as the skin condition can be passed from one generation to the next.

How Long Does Teenage Acne Last?

Teenage acne often starts during puberty, between the ages of 10 and 13, and usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. It typically clears up by the time someone is in their 20s.

The percentage of teens with acne is higher than the percentage of adults with the skin condition. Acne affects about 80 percent of teenagers, and about three in ten teenagers have severe acne. The percentage of acne drops to 40 to 54 percent in men and women older than 25 years of age.

How to Clear Teen Acne

Treatment for teenage acne may include over-the-counter rinses, gels, toners, and creams that help control the oil that causes acne. Using a non-abrasive cleanser to remove oil and bacteria can help reduce acne, as is washing the face with fingertips rather than a washcloth or sponge.

Though, the best path to clear skin is to see a dermatologist for teen acne.

What Will a Dermatologist Do for Teen Acne?

Dermatologists offer a wide variety of treatments to provide acne help for teens. Treatment for teenage acne includes:

Because every patient is an individual, dermatologists often recommend combined treatment for teenage acne. Some patients may benefit from a combined treatment plan that includes prescription medicine and chemical peels, for example, while others do well with laser treatments. Some of these professional dermatologist teen acne treatments can even treat or prevent scarring from acne.

There’s no reason to watch your teenager suffer through the whole acne process any longer.  At the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery we can help. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.