Understanding Teenage Skin and Acne

National Acne Awareness Month Shines a Spotlight On the Importance of Dermatologists in Stopping the Suffering and Stigma of Teen Acne

“There are two types of doctors who can change a teen’s life: orthodontists and  dermatologists,” said Dr. Tova Rogers, a resident at Emory University School of Medicine, who will be joining Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Northern Michigan this summer.

Acne is very common, yet it can have a profound impact. Even cases that don’t appear that extreme can carry a stigma," said Dr. Rogers. Acne can be traumatic in different ways. Some individuals develop deep-seated nodules under the skin. Acne can leave behind scars and dark spots which are hard to treat and can cause emotional distress.”

Some of the deepest scars that acne leaves behind... may never be visible at all.

“I wish adolescents would be brought to us as soon as they begin to experience breakouts, and decide to take charge of their skin so they can look and feel their best. Unfortunately, many don’t come to us until they are left with scars,” said Dr. Rogers. “If they would have started treatment earlier, scarring could have been avoided.”

“We have an arsenal of treatments available:  medicines that can literally change the face of acne, and in many cases, put it into remission. And there are more are on the horizon. Since acne comes in different forms, it’s important to find a doctor you can trust, who really cares about you and will help you find the best treatments for your individual needs.”

Advanced Dermatology offices have clinicians who specialize in both the medical and aesthetic side of acne treatment and work together to help you achieve your best-possible results.

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So what is acne?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne is the most common skin disorder in the U.S, and it affects 40–50 million Americans of all ages at any one time, not just teens.

Not all acne is the same. The three main types are:

  • Non-inflammatory comedonal acne (also known as clogged-pore acne, includes whiteheads and blackheads and is the mildest form of acne). A comedo, or basic acne lesion, is a hair follicle that becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Comedones (the plural of comedo) can develop into bumps called whiteheads and blackheads. Products that may trigger comedones are called "comedogenic." Makeup labeled "noncomedogenic" is less likely to clog pores and contribute to acne.

  • Inflammatory acne (feature swelling, redness, and pores that are deeply clogged with bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells. Sometimes, bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) can cause inflamed acne. Papules and pustules can result.)

  • Cystic acne (cystic acne creates stubborn, painful red bumps that go well below the skin’s surface and can be painful. They tend to occur in people with oily skin, and don’t go away on their own. Cystic acne is also more common in teens, women, and older adults with hormonal imbalances.)

What causes acne?

 Causes are not as clearly known, but the following can be related:

  • Hormonal changes:  Acne can flare up easily in teens and adults—especially women during pregnancy, monthly periods and menopause.

  • Heredity:  Genetics may play a role in whether you have or will have acne. If one or both of your parents, a sibling, or your child has acne, its cause could be genetic. One study found that this was the case for 50% of adults with acne.

  • Comedogenic products:  As we’ve mentioned, skin-clogging products are not your friend. Makeup, body lotions and even hair care products, can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.

  • Stress:  And who hasn’t been dealing with stress! Although it won’t cause acne, it can aggravate your hormones that do. The higher your stress level, the greater the occurrence of acne.

Acne triggers can vary from one person to the next. It may be helpful to track what seems to cause your outbreaks.

Ready to talk with us?

Book an appointment online or call 866.400.3376 DERM to schedule a consultation with one of our dermatology professionals who will help explore the best acne treatment options for you.

*Sources include the American Academy of Dermatology


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