With the ever-increasing emphasis our teens place on appearance, acne could prove to be a major source of stress. When dealing with this acne problem, they often feel self-conscious and even hopeless because of their appearance. With a few lifestyle changes and acne treatments, however, they can enjoy clear skin again.
Currently, acne affects up to 50 million people in the United States every year, and 85 percent are between ages 12—24. Because acne does affect a person’s appearance, many teens suffer anxiety, frustration, and social withdrawal due to the skin condition.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner from Mount Sinai Hospital directs the cosmetic and clinical research of dermatology. According to Zeichner, those who have acne may need treatment from a dermatologist, but they should leave the strong treatments as their last resort.
Instead, many treatments bought on the popular retail site Amazon often prove effective against teen acne. The magazine Teen Vogue released the top Amazon acne treatments sold in 2016. These products include Proactive Renewing Cleanser, Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash, and Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. In 2017 to date, Amazon’s top-selling acne treatment is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
To clear up acne, teens will need to use a product regularly for several months. Acne itself is a form of inflammation in the skin, and this inflammation takes time to completely heal. Fortunately, teens may see noticeable results within a short time, boosting their self-confidence and motivation to continue the acne treatment.
Many times, a teen’s lifestyle and eating habits might contribute to his skin condition. By changing these habits, he will often see his acne reduced or completely diminished. Again, the teen will need to continue these lifestyle changes for several months for the best effectiveness.
First of all, the teen should make sure that he is not eating a diet high in dairy and carbohydrates, especially chips and bagels. These foods may cause or worsen acne. In addition, he should avoid processed foods in general since limited studies have shown a potential connection.
Then, the teen may benefit from gently washing his face once or twice per day. Although acne is not caused by dirty pores, this gentle washing may help to remove oil that further irritates the inflammation.
Finally, if the teen is active in a variety of activities, he may be worsening his acne with stress. To gain control of the acne again, he may need to reduce several factors of stress in his life, especially focusing on adequate sleep.
While these lifestyle changes may not eradicate a teen’s acne, they may help to reduce it. In some cases, these factors may have instigated the problem in the first place.
To treat acne, parents and teens have a variety of choices that do not involve strong medications. One alternative treatment they could choose is vitamin C supplements. In large amounts, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that clears away the free radicals causing acne.
In addition, supplementing will ensure that the teen is getting plenty of the vitamin, which produces collagen. Collagen, in turn, keeps the skin functioning properly as a protective barrier. If a teen has low levels of vitamin C, he may be compromising the health of his skin, resulting in the perfect combination for acne.
Also, as an alternative to acne creams with benzoyl peroxide, parents and teens can try creams with tea tree oil. Research shows that the oil may work more slowly in certain people and may worsen rosacea. However, the tea tree oil may be a good natural alternative to the chemicals found in other products.
In addition, research has shown that aloe vera and green tea extract may reduce acne as well. As with any major prescription or herbal supplementation, parents and teens should discuss the benefits of using these alternative treatments with a doctor.
Among the various pressures that teens face every day, they should not have to live with uncontrolled acne. These teens can opt for several over-the-counter treatments common on Amazon. They can also reduce instigating lifestyle factors and talk with a doctor about trying alternatives. After several months of regular care, these teens should show more self-confidence and take pride in their skin again.
This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.