Acne treatment Acne treatment

Acne Cures for Teenagers

Acne Cures for Teenagers Acne Cures for Teenagers

Nearly eight out of every 10 teenagers get acne at some point, according to the Nemours children's hospital network. It may be a normal part of adolescence, but many teens get stressed out by unsightly pimple outbreaks. Most can control the problem with one of the many acne cures available over the counter (OTC) or through a doctor.

OTC Creams

Most OTC acne creams and lotions contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Nemours explains these ingredients help teens fight acne in two ways. They clear up current outbreaks and help prevent future problems. They accomplish this by drying up oily skin and killing bacteria, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). They also make affected skin peel off, so they can cause redness and irritation. This usually gets better over time. AAFP advises teens to be patient with these treatments, because they can take up to eight weeks to make a noticeable improvement. Creams are the most common form for these acne cures, but they are also available in gels, soaps and medicated pads.

Prescription Creams

Retinoid creams can be prescribed for teens who do not get relief with OTC acne cures. The Mayo Clinic explains that retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They work on acne by helping to keep hair follicles clear through promoting skin cell turnover. AAFP warns against exposure to the sun when you are using retinoids because they increase sunburn risk. Wear a strong sunscreen if you cannot avoid being outdoors in the sun.


Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics for teenagers with stubborn acne. They are typically used along with another treatment. Antibiotics cure acne by killing bacteria. They may be applied to the skin in a cream or taken orally. They are usually discontinued once the acne starts improving, the Mayo Clinic explains, to help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance. This cure usually works in three to four months.


Isotretinoin is a prescription acne drug commonly known as Accutane. It is sometimes used on teenagers to cure extremely bad acne, but it can have severe side effects. The Mayo Clinic states it can cause nosebleeds, dry mouth, aching muscles and difficulty seeing at night. It can raise liver enzymes, triglycerides and cholesterol. It may also cause suicidal tendencies in some people, although this is not proven conclusively. Teens using this cure must be monitored closely by the doctor.

Laser Light Therapy

Laser light therapy is an option for teens who cannot tolerate other acne cures, according to the Mayo Clinic. The exact way it works is not fully understand, but it may damage the sebaceous glands in a way that inhibits excess oil production. It may also kill bacteria. Laser treatments may also minimize scarring by improving skin texture. However, they will temporarily cause sunburn-like irritation after the treatment.

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