Thank you for your question! While most teens (girls and guys) will have some kind of acne breakout during their teen years, it can be upsetting to have pimples. Taking good care of your skin doesn’t involve taking medications and yet you will likely notice an improvement in your skin—less breakouts, for example. However, there are different types of acne that respond to different treatments so it’s a good idea to see a dermatologist (a skin specialist) who can look at your skin and suggest the best treatment for you.
Try these tips:
- Wash your skin twice a day (morning and before bed) with a mild soap-free cleanser such as Purpose®, Basis®, or Neutrogena® to remove oil.
- Wash your face after you exercise and after sweating as oil builds up and can clog pores.
- Wash your face well after you come in contact with oils or grease such as working in a fast food restaurant. Use your fingertips and a mild cleanser to wash your face instead of a rough facecloth or sponge. Rinse with cool to warm water (not hot).
- Wash your hands before touching or rubbing your face and try not to rest your chin, cheek, or forehead on your hand. Just think of all of the things you may have touched during the day with your hands! Breaking this habit may help to clear up most of your problem areas.
- Wash your hair regularly especially if it’s oily. Oil from your hair can make your face and neck extra oily.
- Use “oil-free” sunscreen when you know you’ll be outside in the sun. Antibiotics and other acne medicine can make your skin burn faster with sun exposure.
Avoid the following:
- Don’t scrub your face or use harsh soaps; you can’t scrub acne away but you can make your acne worse if you are too rough when washing your face.
- Do not use alcohol-based cleansing products. Products with a high percentage of alcohol can make your skin very dry and irritated. It actually can cause your body to make more oil that can result in more acne.
- Don’t pick, pop or squeeze pimples or anything on your face no matter how tempting! All that poking can cause more inflammation and possibly leave you with a scar.
- Keep hair gels, and other hair products away from your face as they can clog your pores. Wash your face after you use these products to keep oils away
- Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Without treatment, acne can cause permanent scars, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Consider making an appointment with a dermatologist (skin specialist).