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Causes of Teenage Acne

Causes of Teenage Acne Causes of Teenage Acne

Contrary to some theories, chocolate, french fries and dirt do not cause teenage acne. Instead, acne is caused by a combination of factors, some of which teens cannot control. The good news is that a host of creams, scrubs, spot treatments and other acne products can help reduce outbreaks and heal blemishes. If acne does not improve within several months of treatment or cysts develop, contact a dermatologist.


Whether you get blackheads, whiteheads, papules or pustules, hormones are likely the cause. Though acne can appear at any age, it often emerges in the teen years, when hormones are rampant. In fact, Medline Plus, a service of the National Institutes of Health, notes that three of four teens have some degree of acne. In addition, those with severe acne may have heredity to blame.


Certain medications can alter hormone levels in the body, causing increased oil production that leads to acne. Medications commonly associated with acne include steroids, which are sometimes abused by teen athletes, estrogen, such as is found in birth-control pills, and phenytoin, a medication used to prevent seizures in teens with epilepsy and to relax muscles in teens with muscular dystrophy.

Clogged Pores

A certain amount of oil production is necessary to lubricate the skin and hair. But teenage skin often produces too much oil within the hair follicles. When combined with dead skin cells, bacteria and other debris, pores become clogged and inflamed. When a blockage develops deep within the hair follicle, a lump develops. These lumps are known as cystic acne, the most severe form of acne, which is difficult to treat and potentially scarring.

Improper Skin Care

While improper skin care is not the initial cause of acne, it can worsen the condition. In contrast, proper skin care can lead to fewer breakouts and reduce side effects caused by medications. Harsh scrubbing can cause blemishes to burst, spreading acne bacteria. In addition, greasy cosmetics or hair products, which are popular among teens, can clog pores and cause more breakouts. Products labeled noncomedogenic are free of pore-clogging ingredients.

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