Combating Teenage Acne

Acne outbreaks can be a very difficult and devastating occurrence for any teenager or their parents. Acne is especially impactful for teens, since so much of their self esteem is tied up in their appearance. Teenage acne can have an impact far beyond simple appearance too.


Anyone who has seen an acne-affected teen fail to make eye-contact or a newly affected teen begin to do poorly in school, understands the effect acne can have on self-esteem. Adolescents with acne are reported to have higher rates of stress, mental health problems, affective isolation, social impairment, depression and even thoughts of suicide. In cases where the impact on the psychological health of the client is particularly burdensome, effective treatment of acne may result in dramatic improvement in self-esteem, reducing shame and embarrassment, and improving body image and self-confidence.

Causes of acne

Acne is a skin condition that results in inflammatory lesions. It occurs when hair follicle gets plugged up with oil and dead skin cells. The androgen hormone, which typically goes into overdrive during puberty, can be responsible for overproduction of oil, which leads to breakouts. The tendency to develop acne is hereditary.


Treatment for teenage acne
The best way to reduce acne quickly and effectively is to see a skin care specialist. Young teenagers should be treated by a qualified, licensed esthetician every two to three weeks until the acne outbreak begins reducing, then about once a month until the acne subsides.


The esthetician will recommend an easy home care regimen for teenage acne that may include using a gentle, nonmedicated, foaming cleanser, a toner for oily/combination skin, and a mild gel of alpha hydroxy or salicylic acid or 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Used regularly between skincare treatments, these products will help teens reduce breakouts significantly. Teenagers usually do not need moisturizers except in cold weather. Regular use of noncomedogenic, daily use, broad-spectrum sunscreen is also advised.

Tips for parents

Just because your teenager has developed acne, doesn’t mean that you should sit back let them deal with the problem alone. Below are some tips for parents with teenagers who suffers from acne:
  • Support and encourage a good home care routine: Help your teen to get in habit of cleansing their face in the morning and evening. Remind your teen to apply acne medication recommended by their esthetician before bed every night.
  • Discourage picking: Explain that picking at their pimples just makes it stick around longer and can lead to permanent scaring.
  • Visit the esthetician together: Accompany your teen to their skin care specialist, so that you are able to hear the recommendations and discuss them with your teen. Professional deep cleansing facials and chemical peels can also be highly beneficial for teenagers with acne, so you will want to discuss this with the esthetician during the consultation.
  • Purchase sunscreen: it is very important that teenagers who are being treated for acne wear sunblock so they don’t develop a sunburn while using acne medications and undergoing treatments that make their skin more sun sensitive.
  • Pay attention to diet: Recent studies suggest a strong link between diet and development of acne. If you notice that your teen’s eating habits and their acne go hand in hand, encourage them to stick to a healthier diet.

The bottom line? Today, estheticians are well armed with very good treatments that can reduce and resolve acne problems for teenagers. Acne should be treated to avoid scarring and the resulting improvement can have a marked effect on helping teens cope with the psychological issues that often accompany acne.


This guest post contributed by Milla Kozak, Licensed Esthetician, Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group.