Teenage acne

Acne is a very common skin complaint in adolescence, which affects both boys and girls. Although generally benign in medical terms, its unsightly character often makes it difficult to live with.

Submitted on 20/07/2012

 

A teenage complaint


Extremely common in adolescence, acne affects nearly 80% of young people to varying degrees between the ages of 11 and 18 years. It occurs as a result of hormonal changes associated with puberty and, more specifically, an increase of testosterone in the body in both boys and girls alike.

The first pimples generally form between 11 and 15 years of age, although there are earlier cases (sometimes from 7 or 8 years). Acne follows a downward progression: the first lesions appear on the forehead, where they can become confined in the milder cases, and then develop on the nose, cheeks and chin. In 95.5% of cases, the face is the most affected area, particularly the well-known "T zone" (chin, nose and forehead), where the sebaceous glands are both larger and more numerous. But the chest, upper back and arms can also be affected in a secondary stage, especially in boys. In most cases acne disappears spontaneously between the ages of 18 and 20 years. Sometimes, however, it persists into adulthood.


Girls and boys: unequal with regard to acne

 
  • Boys suffer more frequently from severe forms of acne because they secrete more testosterone and their skin is physiologically oilier and thicker.
     
  • Acne often appears earlier in girls than in boys. It also tends to last longer for hormonal reasons. Finally, for some young girls the acne regularly gets worse during the second half of the menstrual cycle: the hormonal peak preceding their periods triggers an increase in the secretion of sebum and the appearance of new pimples which persist for a few days, then disappear, only to reappear the following month.


Significant psychological repercussions


At an age when the personality is being shaped and where one experiences the first emotions of love, acne is often very difficult to live with. It is Impossible to conceal as it primarily affects the face, hence, it directly affects self-image and relationships with others. It leads to many negative feelings: shame, lack of confidence, etc. More than half of teenagers affected by it have difficulty in coming to terms with their acne. This psychological distress is unrelated to the objective severity of the acne: a few pimples can cause more distress for some teens than much more severe conditions. This uneasiness can lead to an actual state of depression and should never be neglected.


Recovering clear skin


Nowadays there are many solutions for juvenile acne. It should be treated as quickly as possible to limit the distress associated with acne, and also to avoid the formation of lasting scars: the longer acne lasts, the more likely you are to have long-term scarring. The best way to recover clear skin is thus to care for it as soon as the first lesions appear. In order to do so, it is essential to see a dermatologist who will prescribe a suitable treatment, based on the type and severity of the acne.

While very effective, acne treatments often take several weeks or even several months to work completely: it is essential to be patient and persevere for the entire length of the prescribed treatment, failing which the lesions will reappear.
In parallel to this, cleansing your skin twice a day with a suitable mild cleanser and using specific dermo-cosmetic skin care products will help to accelerate the action of the drugs.

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