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Being a teenager is hard enough without the added stress of acne. As your body goes through puberty, increased breakouts can seem inevitable, with no solution in sight. Despite the fact that acne is the most common skin condition affecting young people, finding reliable information can be difficult. Here’s what you need to know about teen acne.

Acne is caused by many things. Acne can be nothing more than a minor nuisance, but for some people, it can be life-altering with long-term scarring as a result. It's actually pretty complicated but the easiest way to look at it is as follows: virtually all acne starts out as a "clogged" or blocked pore; this clog begins with dead skin cells that are supposed to shed normally in a harmless and "quiet" way. But sometimes these dead cells get "stuck" and block pores. Then there is sebum. Sebum is a naturally occurring oil that keeps skin from drying out. This sebum/ blocked pore combination, along with naturally occurring bacteria we all have, can lead to what we call acne. Inside the pore, the bacteria have the perfect opportunity to multiply quickly leading to inflammation -- and voila: pimples/boils/acne result.

There are four different types of acne to be aware of: whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and pustules.


A form of acne that can occur on the face, back, chest and neck, it is a closed skin pore clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria.


A form of acne that is caused when an open skin pore is clogged. The oil and dead skin to turn gray or black, which is where they get their name.


Inflamed, large, pus-filled pimples that open up very deep in the skin and can be painful.


A small red bump or blister on the skin containing pus.

Treat it!

Leaving acne be may seem like the best solution, but in reality, this can lead to dark spots and permanent scars once the blemishes clear.

Acne is caused by a number of things including stress and genetics, but in your teenage years, one of the primary culprits is hormones. Finding a consistent method to take care of your skin is an important step in your teenage years.

Be sure to cleanse your face once or twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser. While it can be tempting to use aggressive scrubs and hard washcloths, this can end up inflaming the acne more and irritating the skin further.

Make sure to remove makeup and sunscreen completely and keep long hair out of your face. There are a number of over the counter face washes that contain benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. For some teenagers, this may be enough: just make sure to follow the directions on the product exactly to prevent drying the skin out too much.

However, If your skin is still breaking out, after taking the above actions, it may be time to see a dermatologist. Don’t worry: there are a plethora of treatments to help teens and adults with more severe cases, and it won’t last forever. At Dermatology and Skin Health, we’re prepared and trained to help you find your best skin solution. Don’t let insecurity keep you from enjoying your youth. Set up an appointment today; we’ll be waiting for your call.

Dover, NH (603) 742-5556

Peabody, MA (978) 525-0100

Newington, NH (603) 742-5556

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