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Teen Acne Treatment Tips

Simple Tips for Treating Teen Acne

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Updated July 30, 2008

Nearly everyone battles teen acne at some point. Get some teen acne treatment tips to help you with your skin-clearing routine.

Take good care of your skin every day.

Although acne isn't caused by not washing your face, good skin care is still an important step in your acne treatment routine. Use a foaming cleanser every morning and night, preferably one with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. A light, oil-free moisturizer can be used if acne treatments make your skin feel tight, or you have flaking or peeling.

For body acne, use a medicated body wash. Shower as soon as possible after sweating or working out, because sweat can irritate acne breakouts. Don't scrub the skin too hard either. Whether acne is on your face or body, scrubbing can increase inflammation and won't help clear breakouts faster. You're better off treating your skin very gently, allowing it to heal.

Be consistent with your treatments.

Today's teens are super busy, so it can be tough to remember to use your acne treatments. But if you want good results you have to be consistent, which means using your treatment medications every day as directed. Try not to skip days.

If you have trouble remembering your medications, putting them in a place that you'll easily see them is a simple reminder. Using your medications at the same time every day can also keep you from forgetting about them. You may also want to leave yourself a note, or ask your parents to remind you.

Too much of a good thing is… too much.

Consistency is good, but don't over-do your acne treatments. Applying topical treatments too often or using too much at a time won't clear your acne any faster. What you will get is red, peeling skin. Don't give in to this temptation. As hard as it is, be patient and give the medications some time to work.

Along the same lines, don't over-cleanse your face either. Although thorough cleansing can keep skin from feeling too oily, excessive cleansing can be irritating to the skin. Keep your cleansing down to just two or three times daily. Your skin will feel clean without feeling stripped or over-dried.

Keep your hands off your face.

Don't squeeze, pick, pop, or poke at your pimples. You can do considerable damage to your skin, and cause scarring. When you squeeze a pimple, you put a lot of pressure on the follicle wall. If this wall breaks, infected material can spread beneath the skin. Skin tissue can be irreparably damaged. Even if pus drains from the pimple, damage can still be occuring below the skin's surface where you can't see.

Remember, that pimple is just temporary, but a scar can last forever. It's not worth popping that zit. Besides, more often squeezing a pimple leaves it larger and redder than it was before. If it's really bothering you, use a spot treatment on it instead.

Use the right makeup.

If you have pimples, it's natural to want to cover them up. But using comedogenic makeup will only make your acne worse. Heavy makeup and oil-based foundations can cause a type of acne called acne cosmetica.

If you do wear makeup, choose an oil-free brand that is labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic. And always thoroughly cleanse every trace of makeup away with a foaming cleanser each night. Never go to sleep with makeup on. You may also want to leave your skin bare as much as possible.

Talk to your parents or another adult.

If your acne isn't improving with over-the-counter treatments, ask for help. Teen acne is a common problem, but it is no longer considered something teenagers must suffer through. There are plenty of treatments available to you. If over-the-counter products aren't working after 12 weeks of consistent use, see a doctor. Your pediatrician or family doctor can treat teenage acne, so you may not even need a referral to see a dermatologist.

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