Main cause- Increased hormonal activity
The reason for adolescent acne is that the hormone levels become high during this period. The heightened hormone levels trigger the generation of sebum, an oily substance, in the sebaceous glands. Since the sebaceous glands are attached to the hair follicles, the increased production of sebum blocks them with dead cells resulting in the appearance of acne lesions.
Generally acne starts appearing between the ages of 10-13 and continues to occur for 5 -10 years. It begins to vanish at the age of 20+ and completely disappears by the age of 25. In some severe cases, it may last up to age of 30 or even beyond. Severe acne is known as nodular or cystic acne.
Psychological impact of acne on adolescents
Since adolescent children, especially girls, are overly conscious of their beauty, the appearance of acne lesions causes them deep emotional pain. They feel embarrassed and lose their self-esteem and develop inferiority complex. This takes a toll of their emotional health and studies.
A large majority of them avoid going to school. Others stop socializing with their girl and boyfriends. There are still others who become lonely and introvert. They contract psychological problems.
Most adolescent children between the ages of 12-14 lack the knowledge of basic hygiene. There are others who overdrive their cleanliness by washing the face several times a day. It should be noted that acne is not caused by grime and dirt. As already mentioned, it generally results when excessive secretion of sebum blocks the hair follicles.
Wash your face twice daily with a non-medicated soap. Excessive washing, rubbing and medication may overdry the skin leading to a rebound in the secretion of sebum.Also, do not use abrasive sponges or clothes as they may cause invisible abrasions and allow bacteria to enter and cause infection.
In a majority of cases, acne can be treated at home when it is still mild. The best course is to gently wash the acne affected area and apply over- the- counter medications such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
You may also use certain moisturizers specially created for acne prone skin. They will help it to maintain the right balance of moisture. They contain ingredients that act as sun screen.
Be careful to read the label. It should mention the words: "for acne-prone skin". It will ensure that the product does not contain any harmful ingredient for acne.
Most acne lesions become worse when they are picked, pressed or scratched. They are likely to be infected and inflamed with your nails. So, resist the temptation of meddling with them.
This elementary treatment and precautions are likely to cure acne in about 6-8 weeks. Check with your dermatologist, if it refuses to disappear after this period.
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