Learning about Teenage Acne

Jun 11, 2024 | News, Wellness Care

By Joanna Storey, MD

1. Acne is not caused by bad hygiene. Many parents express to me concerns that their teens are not good about washing their faces regularly. Although using the right cleanser can play a part in acne management, acne is caused principally by hormonal changes that change the skin in adolescence.

2. Acne usually does not resolve quickly. It can take a minimum of two months of any therapy to see improvement.

3. Consistency is key when it comes to treatment. Daily use of recommended topical products or oral medicines as directed by your child’s pediatrician usually produces the best results.

4. Side effects of medications are common. Many topical medications are drying to the skin, so using an oil-free moisturizer can help. Because some treatments increase sun sensitivity, sunscreen is important too.

5. For severe, treatment-resistant acne, isotretinoin (commonly known as its original brand name, Accutane) can be an option. More than one child in my own household has taken this medication with good results. Isotretinoin does have the potential for side effects, so it’s important to discuss these with your child’s doctor.

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