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Teen Acne Solutions

Fighting Acne is like fighting a war for teenagers. At an age, when hormones play wilfully, acnes are painful physically and emotionally. So, if the first spurts of acne are spotted, the first and the best thing to do, is contact a dermatologist. Many prescriptive and non prescriptive medications aid in mitigating the spread of acne.


Solutions for Acne in Teens

Some of the non prescriptive medications available over the counter for acne treatment in teenagers are:

Benzoyl Peroxide

as per Latanya Benjamin, MD and a leading dermatologist currently with Lucile Packard Children’s hospital at Stanford University, works beautifully against the bacterial component of acne, thereby clearing the clogged pores. This non-prescriptive medication is available in washes, gels and creams. However, to get a good result, it must be used for about a couple of months in succession. Stopping the usage of Benzoyl peroxide can lead to recurrence of acne.

Salicyclic Acid

like Benzoyl Peroxide is also available in many forms such as gels, creams and washes and, is non prescriptive. A continual application of Salicyclic acid over a period of a month or two leads to breakdown of black heads and white heads, thereby aiding in the clearing of pores.

As per Julie Danna, MD and a paediatric dermatologist at Ochsner Health Center in Merairie, LA, the above mentioned medications when taken on schedule for a period of 4 to 10 weeks lead to a substantial improvement in the skin.

Prescriptive treatment measures

If the acne is not mild, dermatologists recommend stronger prescriptive medications such as

  • Topical Retinoids that unclog pores and alleviate the accumulation of whiteheads and blackheads
  • Antibiotics that penetrate into the sebaceous layers of the skin glands and cull the bacterial development
  • Prescription strength – Benzoyl Peroxide with a stronger concentration to be taken with antibiotics

These treatments are advised for moderate acne. However, if acne is severe and is on the verge of cyst formation and scarring, a dermatologist must be sought at the earliest, as advised by Benjamin. Girls with severe acne are sometimes prescribed birth control pills that control the androgen secretions. Hormone blockers such as spironolactone have been found to be effective in acne control.

But, Danna mentions how the closest thing for a cure to acne is Isotretinoin therapy. A pill taken once or twice a day as per the prescription over a period of 6 months brings down the sebum secretion by shrinking the sebaceous glands, thereby leading to reduced clogging. But, Isotretinoin is never prescribed to pregnant and nursing women given their grave side effects such as depression and birth defects in the child.

 Tips to battle acne problems

  • Benjamin mentions about the slow pace of treatment but asserts how the results are positive. Hence, a teenager must be patient during the course of treatment.
  • Instructions must be followed precisely as given by the dermatologist.
  • Religiously sticking to the schedule of the treatment plan is imperative for positive results. Danna suggests putting the medication next to the tooth brush as a reminder to stick to the time and schedule.
  • Benjamin emphasises on use of non oily skin care products that come with the noncomedogenic label.
  • Over doing on the washing front can also lead to aggravating acnes. Washing face twice a day is enough, says Danna.

Picking at and popping pimples must never be done as it can lead to scarring.

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