Teenage Acne

It's hard to have a conversation about the teen years without addressing the subject of teenage acne. This condition affects nearly every adolescent on some level, with some suffering with much more severe cases than others. It will most likely rear its unsightly head between the ages of 10 and 13, and diminish by the time a person is in his 20's. Despite its frequent occurrence, acne can be a painful condition on both a physical and emotional level. This article will cover the basics of teenage acne, including potential causes, symptoms and treatment options that are currently available.

Why does it Occur?

Teenage acne appears to kick in with the hormones, leading medical experts to deduce that acne is caused in part by the hormonal fluctuations that occur during puberty. It is these hormones that cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which can then clog pores and result in acne breakouts. Doctors also believe the genetics play a role in teenage acne, meaning that if your parents dealt with breakouts as teens, you will be more likely to do so as well. However, medical professionals are unsure why some teens will suffer with this condition more severely than others, and they still can't explain precisely why some teens have acne while others do not.

What does it Look Like?

There are a number of different acne formations that can appear during a breakout. The most common type of acne is the comedone, which comprises whiteheads and blackheads. Papules are the small red bumps, or pimples, and pustules are papules with white pus gathered at the tip. Nodules, which are large painful lumps, and pus-filled cysts are often seen in the most severe cases of teenage acne. These latter formations often require a doctor's help to be treated effectively.

The Psychological Impact

Teenage acne is much more than a physical condition; it is an emotional one as well. Teens who are dealing with severe breakouts are much more likely to suffer from low self esteem and depression. Because boys tend to have severe teenage acne more frequently than girls, their self esteem is often hit the hardest. However, they are also less likely to seek professional help to treat their condition. Parents of teen boys can encourage their children to get professional treatment and talk to them about the psychological impact of their condition. It is also helpful to know that the large majority of acne cases can be successfully controlled through a variety of treatment options.


Treatment for teenage acne can be found in any number of over the counter solutions. If these formulas do not work effectively, doctors have even more possibilities in the form of topical and oral medications. Antibiotics and medications like Accutane have both been shown to be quite successful in keeping teenage acne under control. There are advances in laser therapy that are showing significant promise as well.

Teenage acne is a difficult condition to deal with on many levels. The good news is that there are many options for treating teenage acne so patients can enjoy fewer breakouts and clearer skin.