By Terry Lowery
Over 70% of teens say that acne has affected them in a
way. An estimated 20 million teens suffer from acne, but even
the fact that they're not alone doesn't ease the pain they
feel. Teens are embarrassed at a time when they are unsure of
themselves. They may become depressed and withdrawn. Acne is
especially hard on teenage girls. At a time when they're
noticing boys, and visa versa, acne can be devastating.
surrounded by visions of beauty all around them on TV, in
movies, in magazines and on line. We live in a society that
worships youth and beauty.
Parents can help their teenage girls through this time by
offering a supportive and sympathetic ear. Parents should help
the child focus on all their positive attributes, which will
help to strengthen the child's self esteem. The parents need
be actively involved with helping their child find the best
possible cure for their particular form of acne.
Parents should also educate themselves about acne causes and
treatments. Thirty years ago it was thought that acne was
caused by eating the wrong foods. Chocolate and potatoe chips
were culprit. It's now known that this isn't true. Food is not
thought to play a large role in acne. It also has nothing to
with cleanliness of the skin.
What is fact is that acne in teenagers is caused by the action
of hormones on the skin's oil glands. During puberty both boys
and girls have an increase in the hormones called androgens.
These hormones cause sebaceous glands under the surface of the
skin to enlarge. The sebaceous glands in response produce
excess oil. This excess oil mixes with bacteria and dead skin
on the skin's surface and blocks pores. Inside these pores the
bacteria multiple and cause inflammation.
Most cases of light to moderate acne can be treated by over
counter medications. There are many to choose from. Some find
that benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid works well. Benzoyl
peroxide is known to readily kill acne bacteria. Benzoyl
peroxide can be found in cleansers and in spot treatments.
Benzoyl peroxide is very drying and can make your face look
even more irritated, especially when you first start washing
with it. Many acne suffers use a moisturizer on their face
after washing. There are many moisturizers available that are
specifically designed to help with acne such as Cetaphil,
Eucerin, and Neutrogena.
Severe acne, or acne that has not responded well to over the
counter products, can be successfully treated with the
knowledge and expertise of a dermatologist. A dermatologist
will consider many things before suggesting treatment. He will
perform a thorough evaluation of the patient, considering
things such as severity of acne, patient age, lifestyle, and
co-existing conditions. The dermatologist then may suggest a
combination of two or three different therapies for best
Whatever one of the literally hundreds of treatments you
to choose, or if you seek the help of a dermatologist,
that acne takes time to disappear. Overnight or miraculous
results don't happen. It takes six to eight weeks to see
results from treatment. Unfortunately, in a teenage girl's
six to eight weeks can feel like a lifetime.
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