All we wanted to do as kids was to grow up and do all the things that the adults did. Little did we know about the phase of being a teenager! As if being in a confusing age between a child and an adult is not enough. We are also subjected to hormonal imbalances – the imbalances that ruled most things about us – the crazy rage to mood swings and pimples to broken skin.
Of all the things that go haywire, skin troubles are the one thing we have a certain amount of control on. Acne is one of the more unpleasant companions of one’s teenage years. It can take many forms, such as pimples, cysts, blackheads or whiteheads. Let us tell you how to deal with acne and the like.
If you’re a teen suffering from acne, you’re certainly not alone. Acne affects teenagers of all race, gender, and origin. It is estimated that at least 90% of adolescents suffer from episodes of acne.
What Is Acne?
As you enter into teenage, your body starts changing internally and externally due to hormonal changes. Acne results from the action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands). The sebaceous glands release an oily substance called sebum that empties onto the skin surface through the pores. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria that normally live on the skin to grow in the follicle openings. When this happens, pores become clogged, and pimples develop.
What Aggravates Acne?
- Harsh Scrubbing
The biggest myth about acne is that it is caused by dirt. Let us burst it for you! It’s caused because of clogging as we explained above. That is why harsh scrubbing will only irritate your skin. Irritated skin produces more oil, and that leads to more acne – the cycle never ends.
- Picking Or Squeezing Pimples
This is a very wrong habit, often seen in teenagers and adults suffering from acne. When you touch and squeeze your pimples and then touch other parts of the face, you are transferring the bacteria. This helps the bacteria spread and aggravates acne.
- Pressure From Bike Helmets, Backpacks, Or Tight Collars
The tight padding of these items constricts the skin, and traps dirt and bacteria leading to acne.
- Changing Hormone Levels (In Women)
The hormones in women follow a cycle of ups and down and the imbalance leads to acne. This is observed more during menstrual period.
- Food Intake
Though there are no proven results, dairy products might lead to aggravated acne. This is linked to the factor that the animals are fed on hormone rich diet, leading to products that contain hormones.
How To Cure And Prevent Teenage Acne?
Controlling acne is not a Herculean task, though it needs some care and strategy. If you are a teen or a parent of a teen, then this article will come in handy. Listed here are 21 effective treatments, which could reduce your acne and avoid future breakouts too.
An integral part of curing teen or any type of acne is to keep your face clean. It is essential that you cleanse your face at night and in the morning. By cleansing, you can keep your skin dirt and oil free, which prevents further breakouts in the skin. Cleanse your face gently and use a cleanser made for acne prone skin. Avoid using any harsh textured materials to cleanse your face.
Oily skin results in breakouts, and if your skin is very dry, the body compensates by producing extra oils. Certain acne products might leave your skin dry and coarse. Switch such products with gel-based moisturizers for oily skin or cream-based moisturizers if you have dry skin. If you are about to step out, then use moisturizers with a small amount of SPF to protect the skin from more irritation. Always use a sunscreen to avoid tanning. Acne prone skin is generally more sensitive than the other skin types.
3. Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating helps in removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Exfoliating products usually come in cream form, which needs to be worked on the skin for few minutes before being washed off.
4. Use A Toner
After cleansing your face, dab a cotton ball with some toner and apply it all over your face. This product helps in tightening the pores and prevents dirt, oil, and other impurities getting trapped in it. Choose acne toners or those with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel. Do not rinse away the toner. Let it stay on your skin.
5. Avoid Touching Your Face
Many people have the habit of touching the face consciously as well as unconsciously. Touching the face can cause the spread of bacteria from your hands to your face, resulting in inflammation and other problems.
6. Increase The Intake Of Water
Water is essential for your body as well as your skin. Drinking eight to 10 glasses of water every day would definitely help you to have a clear looking skin.
7. Good Diet
Scientists believe that junk foods alone cannot directly cause breakouts in the skin. It is very important that you follow a good diet, by taking at least five portions of whole grain, vegetables, and fruits every day. A healthy body gives a better skin. This diet would definitely reflect on your skin just within a week.
8. Change Your Pillow Cover
Your pillow cover is generally full dust, bacteria, and other acne-causing agents. It is important that you change your pillow covers once in three to four days. Changing the cover would prevent the acne problem getting worse.
9. Stay Stress-Free
Many experts believe that stress can cause breakouts in the skin. Stress can be directed away by involving yourself in healthy activities, which would rejuvenate your mind and keeps your skin clear.
10. Regular Exercise
Exercising every day can help you to reduce stress and helps in optimizing the blood flow throughout the body. Do not forget to take a shower after exercising. It helps in preventing the dirt and sweat clogging your pores and resulting in breakouts.
11. Use Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide comes in the form of soap or lotion for your acne prone areas in the skin. The products are formulated to regenerate clean and new cells faster. Choose products with 3% or less of benzoyl peroxide to avoid irritation.
12. Use Salicylic Acid
Similar to benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid helps in getting rid of dead skin cells and promote new skin growth. As a result, skin dries of near your acne, but the dryness slows down with the regeneration of your skin. Try using this acid in cleansers and spot treatments every day on acne prone areas.
13. Sulfur – A Great Acne Killer
Sulfur is known as a great acne killer. Choose cleansers and other products containing sulfur to clear your breakouts by reducing the oil production in the skin.
14. Use Retinoid
Cleansers with retinoid contain high levels of vitamin A. It helps in cleaning out your clogged pores and dissolves the grime.
15. Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the best antibacterial agents that helps clear out the microbes, which clogs your pores. Gently apply cotton swab with few drops of the oil and swipe on the acne prone areas. Avoid too much of this oil, since it would result in burning sensation and would worsen redness.
16. Use Facial Peel
Facial peels come in the form of a gel containing acids which helps in getting rid of dead skin and microbes containing cells. Using such peels regularly can reduce breakouts. It also aids in maintaining your skin care regimen.
17. Laser Treatment
Many dermatologists offer laser treatments to kill the overactive oil secreting glands under the skin. This treatment might be painful, but helps to reduce acne by about 50%.
18. Light Treatment
Unlike laser treatments, light treatments use mild pulses of light and specialized wand to kill bacteria. This treatment also has a positive effect on killing the breakouts without pain.
19. Get Sufficient Sleep
Sleeping helps in relaxing your body and also detoxifies it. Skin renews your skin cells when you are sleeping, so it is essential that you sleep for at least for eight hours. Regulate the habit of sleeping at a consistent time every day.
20. Use Oil-Free Makeup
Many people use a lot of products to cover up their breakouts. Choose acne fighting and oil-free mineral makeup, which makes sure that the breakouts do not worsen and also aids in hiding them. People with severe acne problems should try to avoid makeup, since it clogs your pores throughout the day.
21. Clean Your Gadgets
Always clean the items that touch your face – mobile phone, earphones and the like. They can harbor bacteria.
And remember, acne or no acne, your teenage days are precious. Do not let a breakout or two ruin these beautiful days.
What do you do to control acne? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.