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The Trials & Tribulations of Teen Acne

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Acne is one of the most perplexing issues for an adolescent. It doesn’t matter if it is one zit or 100 pimples, most teens are bothered by bumps on their faces. The only thing they want their doctor to do is to “make my skin clear, NOW”.

As a ‘tween enters adolescence, they may notice bumps on their forehead or nose. The first thing to combat early acne is getting the adolescent into the routine of washing their face twice a day. Beginning with an over the counter soap or acne wash, something like Neutrogena, Purpose or Clean and Clear. There is even Neutrogena acne wash in a pump that is easy to use.

If they are still having break out issues and need the next step, an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide would be helpful. This comes in several strengths, begin low so as not to get too dry and increase strength as tolerated. Benzoyl peroxide is the medication that is “hyped” in pro-active, at the same strength, at a much less expensive price point.

If washing the face and using benzoyl peroxide does not control the acne problem it may be time to see the pediatrician or dermatologist to decide if prescription strength medication is in order.

The mantra for treating acne should be no picking, do to the risk of infection and scarring and patience, clearing up skin takes time, and a teen has little of that.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again soon!

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