Many people think of acne as nothing more than a rite of passage for teenagers – something that everyone just has to go through before adulthood. But the truth is, acne is not necessarily just a harmless phase. It can damage the skin, leaving facial scars that can last long past the time when most teenagers have grown out of their oily skin. It can also have a huge impact on your teen's quality of life by affecting their self-esteem. Studies show that people with acne are two to three times more likely to experience depression than people with clear skin. If your teen is struggling with acne, it's worth taking them to see a dermatologist for treatment. Check out a few of the ways a dermatologist can help your teen overcome acne.
There are two different medication strategies that dermatologists use for patients with acne problems. One common solution is to prescribe a low dose of antibiotics that act as anti-inflammatory agents. They can help prevent your teen's acne outbreaks. Low doses are used so that your teen doesn't begin to develop a resistance to the antibiotic after using it for a long period of time.
The other medication that's commonly used to control acne, at least for female patients, is the birth control pill. In some women, acne is caused by hormonal imbalances. This particular type of acne usually appears on the jawline. The birth control pill increases the amount of estrogen in your teen's body and helps regulate her hormones throughout the month, eliminating the acne. In some cases, your dermatologist might also recommend a medication that decreases the amount of testosterone in a teenage girl's system.
Another option that can work well for some types of breakouts is an acne extraction. This is when a dermatologist uses sterile tools to pull out the solids or fluids inside of a pimple. This method is most often used on blackheads and whiteheads, not inflamed pimples. It's a good choice for teens who have a hard time stopping themselves from picking at their acne. Squeezing or popping blackheads and whiteheads in conditions that are not sterile can leave scars on the skin. Extraction offers acne removal in safe, sterile conditions.
When your teen has blackheads and whiteheads, it means that the pores in those areas are completely clogged. These pimples make the skin feel rough and uneven. An extraction is a good choice because it gives the dermatologist a chance to clean all of the excess debris out of the pores. This can not only quickly clear up the current breakout, it can prevent future breakouts as long as your teen maintains their skin with proper face washing. Although acne extraction is sometimes referred to as acne surgery, it's neither invasive nor dangerous.
For moderate breakouts that include blackheads, whiteheads, and inflamed pimples, your teen's dermatologist might recommend a chemical peel. The chemical in question is glycolic acid, which dissolves the bacteria and dead skin cells that clog pores and cause breakouts. Removing damaged skin cells can not only help acne, it can lighten freckles, remove superficial acne scars, and make the skin look and feel smoother and softer.
In addition to in-office treatments, the dermatologist may recommend that your teen use a product containing glycolic acid at home as well. These products should only be used at the recommendation of the dermatologist and according to their instructions, because they can cause burns if used improperly.
Don't allow your teen to suffer with a condition that's treatable. If your teen has frequent acne breakouts that are painful or upsetting to them, make an appointment with a local dermatologist to find a treatment that's right for your child.
Discover more on acne and dermatology by contacting a local dermatologist.