What are some acne treatments for teens?

Stephen Handisides
Health Education

No acne cure, whether bought over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor, will be a miracle overnight cure. However, there are some treatments that can be very effective in preventing the formation of new spots and scarring. Acne treatments are available over-the-counter or by prescription only, from topical treatments in the form of creams, gels or lotions that are applied directly to the skin, to oral acne treatments that control hormonal fluctuations. Non-surgical treatments that have proven effective in the treatment of acne include laser/light treatments and also chemical peels. Whichever course of treatment you are recommended, you will need to be patient as most treatments take 2-4 months to yield maximum effects.

As kids go through adolescence and start to develop acne, it becomes their whole world. They get nervous about how they look and how it makes them seem to other children and to themselves. There are lots of things you can try at home. In general, we like kids to use gentle soaps to wash their face twice a day, but we don't want to leave the skin dry. One of the most common misconceptions is that you're trying to dry the skin out. When the skin dries, it then produces oil, which can cause more zits. And so, clean, but then using a moisturizer cream as well to kind of keep the skin moist, and a sunscreen to not let the skin burn, are all ways to help reduce acne.

Now for some children, especially in adolescence, that might not be enough, at which point it's probably a good idea to see your pediatrician to discuss other forms of medicine that can be used. Some of these are topical: topical cleansers, topical antibiotics. Your teenager might need oral antibiotics if they have that deep red inflamed acne that many teenagers get. So there are lots of ways to use different treatments, and there are lots of things that can be effective, but again, those things at home would be daily cleansing, moisturizing cream, and sunscreen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.