Treating Acne in Teenage Boys

10 Things Teen Guys Must Know to Clear Their Skin

Most teen boys get acne. It's a normal part of being a teenager, but it's definitely not the best part. When acne gets you down, don't worry because there are things you can do to clear up your skin. It may mean smearing some stuff on your face and it does require patience, but you can get your acne under control.


Don't Believe the Myths

Portrait of a Male Teenager Cleaning his Acne
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Would you be surprised to learn that acne is not caused by a dirty face? Acne is not caused by foods like chocolate or French fries, either. And, contrary to what you may have heard, acne isn't caused by masturbating, having sex, or the lack either.

Some people are just naturally prone to acne. That is something that's out of your control. It's tough when you're breaking out and your friends have clear skin, but understand that it's not your fault that you have acne.

Knowing what really causes acne (and what doesn't) will help you focus on treatments that work.


Acne Can't Clear Up Overnight

You might see TV commercials that promise to clear your acne overnight, but it doesn't work that way. These are false promises designed to get you to buy their product.

The good news is that there are many acne treatment products on the market today that can actually clear your skin. But even the most effective products aren't going to work like magic overnight. Contrary to what the commercial says, they won't cure acne, either.

If you're looking for a good over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatment, the most effective will contain benzoyl peroxide. Look for that ingredient on the label.

It will take at least a few weeks before you start to really notice a change in your skin. If you're patient, you will see improvement. It just won't be as quick as some products claim.


OTC Products Might Not Be Enough

If you've tried a ton of OTC products and you're still breaking out, it's time to call for backup. Your doctor has plenty of prescription options that will help you get your acne under control.

You don't necessarily have to see a dermatologist, either. It's likely that your family doctor has helped many teenagers with acne. You can see your regular doctor first and they'll refer you to a dermatologist if they think it's necessary.

The advantage here is that prescription medications are going to be stronger and they usually work faster than OTC treatments. Also, they tend to work even when OTC products haven't.


Don't Skip Your Treatments

Once you get your treatments home, you have to actually use them. Sorry guys, but teen boys are notorious for forgetting to use their treatments. And if you're not using them, they aren’t going to clear your skin.

We know you're busy, and using treatments is a hassle, and there are times when you just flat-out forget. However, using those treatments is important, so try to do whatever it takes to use them every day.

For example, you can leave them next to your toothbrush to jog your memory. You can also ask your parents to help remind you until it becomes a habit.


Use Your Treatments Correctly

Not only do you have to remember to use your treatments, but you also have to use them correctly. It may sound like a pain, but it is important. Once you get into the habit of using your treatments, it really isn't that bad and doesn't take too much time.

Make sure you know exactly how to use your acne medications. That means reading all the directions (even if it seems obvious) and following the instructions your doctor gives you. Be sure to ask if you have any questions, too.


Take Care of Your Skin Every Day

Even though acne isn't caused by not washing your face, the excess oil and dirt that builds up throughout the day won't help matters. Sweat can also irritate your skin and make acne worse. That is why a good skin care routine is important.

It only takes a few minutes a day and doesn't require a ton of fancy products like some girls enjoy using. All you need is a basic face soap or cleanser and a moisturizer if your skin is feeling dry.


Be Careful to Not Shave Pimples

Shaving is another matter. If you have pimples in the beard area, do your best to shave carefully. Go around them if at all possible or, at least, try to avoid shaving the tops off of your pimples.

The more you irritate your skin, the redder and more inflamed it's going to look. The skin on your face can be sensitive, so try to treat it as gently as you can. This may mean shaving less often until the inflammation goes down.


Body Acne Can Be Treated Too

The face isn't the only place that acne can pop up. You might get acne on your chest, back, shoulders, and neck. It happens and it's more common than you think.

Many of the same medications that are used on your face can also be used for other body parts. Benzoyl peroxide soaps and body washes are often used to treat body breakouts.

Your doctor might also prescribe other medications, like oral antibiotics or even ​Accutane (isotretinoin). This will depend on how serious your breakouts are.


Stick With It

No matter what treatment you're using, you need to stick with it long enough for it to work. It doesn't matter if it's from your doctor or the drug store, either.

It takes a long time for a treatment to work. Keep using your medication for at least eight to 10 weeks before deciding if it's working or not. 

As much as you may hate to hear it, you can expect to get new pimples during this time, too. They won't stop all at once, but rather slowly start fading away.

Also, keep it up after your skin clears. Acne medications don't stop acne for good; they just keep it under control. If you stop using the medication, the acne will probably come right back. The only exception would be with the medication Accutane.

At some point, your acne will go away on its own and you'll finally be able to get rid of your acne treatments for good. Until then, stick with it.


Acne Can Make You Feel Bad, But You Can Beat It

You may not want to admit it to anyone, but acne can take a toll on your self-esteem. It can make you feel less confident, insecure, angry, and depressed. These are normal feelings.

Starting a treatment and seeing some good results can really help you feel better. So can focusing on things other than your skin. While you're waiting for results, distract yourself with sports, music, art, or any other interests you have.

Yet, we know that there will be times when you just can't seem to not think about your acne. If acne is controlling more of your life than you want it to, let someone know. Tell your parents, a favorite teacher, clergy person, your doctor, or anyone you trust.

Acne is a normal part of being a teenager. You can get through it, you can get over it, and you can feel good about your skin and yourself again.

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