TEENAGE BOYS AND ACNE
As if the pressures of high school weren’t enough, you have to deal with pimples too?!
There are several things that can happen with hormonal changes in your teens. A sudden growth spurt, voice changes, hair on your face, underarms, and legs. And in some cases, acne! Hormones are not the cause of acne, but they do make it worse.
As we have discussed, acne is an inherited disorder of the pores. It starts at puberty when the oil glands start maturing. For a teenager, this is in the T-zone. A normal pore sheds about 1 layer of dead skin cells a day. But, someone with this disorder can shed up to 5 layers a day. All those dead skin cells combined with oil form a plug in the pore. This is how all acne starts.
Boys will tend to get acne earlier than girls, but will usually grow out of it more quickly. Girls tend to get it a few years later, but they won’t grow out of it until later as well. When hormonal changes get thrown into the mix, you may see a sudden increase in breakouts. An increase in the androgen hormone make the skin’s oil glands larger, in turn they start producing more sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that your skin naturally produces to help lubricate your hair and skin. When more of it is pumped into an already clogged pore, it can cause irritation and inflammation. Lo and behold, a pimple is born! Boys tend to have more inflamed acne (pimples, pustules and cysts) and these can cause scarring if not treated quickly and consistently.
These hormonal changes can make getting clear a bit more challenging. But with consistent exfoliation and use of benzoyl peroxide used correctly, breakouts can be reduced and managed.
Things to remember when dealing with teenage acne:
– Do your skincare routine every day! Just as you would use hand sanitizer to prevent getting sick from germs, you would use your skincare routine to prevent future breakouts. Not only will this clear your current breakouts, it will prevent new ones from forming.
– Don’t pick, squeeze, or scratch! We know it’s tempting, but you must resist! Messing with your face can spread bacteria, causing more breakouts, leaving behind scars and dark marks, or causing reoccurring pimples because of damage done to the follicle. Leave them alone and ice instead! You can do this to reduce inflammation: rub ice in a circular motion on each blemish for 2 minutes at a time. It really helps!
– Keep it clean! If you play sports or take part in other activities that make you sweat, wash your face as soon as you’re done. Bacteria love to feed on the moisture—make sure they don’t have anything to stick around for.