Teenage Acne Facts Every Parent Should Know

Acne, pimples, and zits... oh my!

Think back to your teen years when you were standing in front of a mirror staring at the huge zit on your face. Thoughts were racing through your mind. How did it get there? Did I not wash my face enough? And more importantly, how do I get rid of that before anyone sees it?

A teenager picking at her acne

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Now keep this thought in the back of your mind. You're going to need to draw some sympathy from it when your teen is asking to try yet another acne medication or when she's refusing to leave the house because of another acne breakout.

The truth is no one is sure what causes acne. Scientists think a hormone called androgen plays a role. Androgen stimulates the sebum-producing glands.

After puberty, boys produce 10 times as much androgen as girls. Therefore, more boys tend to develop severe cases of acne than girls, but that does not mean that some girls won't develop a severe case. No matter if the case is severe or not, acne does cause problems with many teen's confidence.

Fast Facts About Teen Acne

It's important to educate yourself on the facts about acne. It can reassure you that what your teen is going through is normal (which may help you reassure her as well). And knowing about acne can also help you assist your teen in finding ways to deal with it. Here are some facts about teenage acne:

  • Acne most often starts at around age 11 for girls and age 13 for boys.
  • There's no scientific evidence to back up the claims that junk food and greasy foods cause acne. But, if you see an increase in acne after your teen eats these foods, have him cut back on eating them.
  • A whopping 85 percent of the U.S. population between ages 12 and 25 develops some form of acne.
  • There's no scientific evidence to back up the claims that oily skin or hair causes acne. But if your teen is experiencing more pimples under bangs, for instance, it might be a good idea to change hairstyles.
  • Some studies have shown that up to 70 percent of women notice their acne worsening the week before their period.
  • If you or your spouse had problem acne as a teenager, there is more of a likelihood that your teen will experience this.
  • There's no scientific evidence to back up the claims that stress brings on acne. But many teens experience a break out right before big events in their lives. A little sympathy and reassurance can help here.

Talk to Your Teen's Doctor

Severe acne can be problematic for teens. Teens who feel insecure about their appearance may struggle with confidence issues and perhaps even social problems. 

If your teen's acne is causing a problem, talk to the pediatrician. There may be prescription options that can help address your teen's acne. 

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