Teenage Acne Treatments
Acne is caused by the blockage of the hair follicle and the surrounding sebaceous gland, and it affects more than 85 percent of teenagers, according to Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center. Acne commonly occurs during adolescence and can be helped through several treatment options in addition to maintaining good hygiene, keeping oil off of face, avoiding squeezing pimples, using sunscreen and avoiding tanning booths and self-tanning products.
For mild acne that involves an occasional pimple along with whiteheads or blackheads, over-the-counter topical treatments are used. Products containing benzoyl peroxide applied to a clean face twice per day can help alleviate acne symptoms for teenagers.
In addition to over-the-counter topical treatments for acne, teenagers can use an oral antibiotic, according to Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center, to treat inflammation and infection in those with moderate to severe acne. Topical antibiotics in cream, gel or liquid form such as erythromycin or clindamycin can also be used to treat redness and inflammation caused by acne.
For female teenagers, oral contraceptives can be used as a hormonal treatment for moderate to severe acne. This treatment should be discussed and monitored with a physician.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that severe acne can be treated with isotretinoin, such as Accutane. It is a strong medication that should be used with caution, as it can cause severe birth defects and can even be fatal to an unborn fetus. It should not be taken during pregnancy or right before conception. Patients who take isotretinoin must be closely monitored by a physician. Teenagers who are prone to depression should not take this drug.
Spironolactone is an anti-androgen drug and can be helpful in treating acne because it decreases free testosterone in the body and, according to healthguidance.org, controls sebum (skin oil) production. Spironolactone should be used with caution and monitored by a physician, as it can cause birth defects in an unborn fetus.
A retinoid such as Retin-A or Differin is a topical cream or gel treatment that is used to help unplug oil ducts and is useful in clearing up acne, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. This medication causes redness and peeling of the skin, and teenagers who are using a retinoid should stay out of the sun and avoid tanning salons.
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