Trust me, there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning with a huge zit on your face. It completely ruins your day and makes you feel like self-conscious about how you look big time.
The teen years are often filled with confusion, stress, and unfortunately, acne. We all wish we could avoid it and maybe even cover up blemishes with make-up or band-aids, but acne is pretty much unavoidable.
In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that 100% of teens have at least occasional breakouts, though some are worse than others, and about 8 in 10 people have acne regularly. Even though it’s so common, a lot of teens are so frustrated and embarrassed by their acne that, according toCynthia Chen from the Dermatology department at University of California, often times “Teens avoid school if they have lots of zits.”
The truth is that no one should have to skip school for acne, and there are better ways to deal with it! When you know the facts and you can soothe your complexion, it’ll all seem to clear up.
What’s That On My Face?
Acne is a condition in which bumps form on the skin. It pops up (no pun intended) when dead skin cells mix with the oils on your skin and clog up hair follicles. This causes bacteria to grow in the hair follicles that irritate your skin.
Teens are particularly prone to acne because the hormonal changes of puberty cause your skin to produce more of the oils that then clog up your follicles. A lot of times, girls often get more acne around their periods because their hormones are out of whack.
So What Do I Call It?
Acne comes in a few different forms, including:
- Acne Vulgaris – This is the most common type of acne for teens. It’s usually found on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back and chest.
- Whiteheads – These are when the pores that get clogged up swell out and look like white dots.
- Blackheads – They look like little black bumps and happen when the pores that get clogged up stay open, so the outside bacteria and air make them darker.
- Pimples – Small red bumps that form when your pores upon up and some of the oil, bacteria and dead skin get under the skin. Pimples are sometimes cysts, which is when they are deep, painful and filled with pus.
- Nodules – The next step up from pimples and cysts, these are red and swollen lumps that are bigger and more painful than pimples and may get infected.
Make Them Go Away!
There’s no way to completely avoid acne, especially during your teen years, and it can be really tough to get rid of. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent acne and treat breakouts.
To keep the little bumps away, make sure to get rid of excessive skin oils by washing your face once or twice a day, but make sure to use gentle soap and avoid scrubbing with a washcloth as that will only irritate your skin more. Also, only use skin products that are labeled “oil free,” “noncomedogenic,” or “nonacnegenic,” and never ever pop your pimples – no matter how tempting, because that will only make them scar.
To treat breakouts, try using over the counter lotions and creams that will help them go away, and be patient! If your acne is really bad, talk to a doctor about special treatments or prescriptions that may be right for you. Every case is different so getting a professional opinion is the best route in more severe cases.
No one likes having acne, but it’s not the end of the world! Learn the facts and take care of your skin, and your face will be cleaned up and glowing soon enough.
This article has been reviewed by BodiMojo health expert Tara Cousineau, PhD.
Last reviewed Dec 1.,2014