Teenage acne is always provoked by hormonal changes. Becoming an adult is a dramatic period for our endocrine system. Adult acne can be hormonal too, but in most cases it is more complex than that and quite often stress-dependent. Classic acute manifestation of teenage acne includes extreme skin oiliness and comedones and quickly progresses to severe forms without correct treatment. Adult acne can manifest as skin sensitivity slowly progressing to inflammation. Teenage acne is easier to treat with topical skincare, whereas adult acne can be very resistant to therapy.
TEEN ACNE TREATMENT MUST BE CHOSEN WITH CAUTION
Systemic retinoids, such as Roaccutane, can be prescribed for severe forms of acne or as a last resort, when all else fails. The NHS only recommends Roaccutane for severe acne unresponsive to other treatments, strictly after the age of 12 and with constant medical supervision, including regular blood tests and mental health check-ups for depression, suicidal tendencies and other mental health issues. Topical retinoids (skincare with retinoids) can be used to treat acne without the risk of serious side effects.
TEEN ACNE LEADS TO MICROBIOME IMBALANCE, BUT IS NOT CAUSED BY IT
The hormonal tide carrying kids into adulthood is the primary cause of teenage acne. The levels of hormones increase so rapidly that the skin sometimes reacts badly. Male hormones activate the hypersecretion of sebum making the skin too oily and changing its quality. The hypersecretion of sebum leads to the change in microbiome where some pathogenic bacteria and fungi start growing and provoke inflammation with the products of their metabolism.
TEENAGE ACNE IS NOT ALL ABOUT SPOTS
Spots (pimples, blemishes) are a symptom of acne, but acne is not limited to spots, it is a much more complex long-term skin condition. Spots can also be a symptom of other skin conditions, such as rosacea, keratosis pilaris etc. If you suffer from acne, you’ll definitely have spots, but if you have spots it doesn’t necessarily mean you have acne.
BEST INGREDIENTS TO TREAT TEEN ACNE
In recent years prebiotic-based products came into the spotlight, and microbiome-friendly skincare appears to be a safe and effective solution for teens.
NO SOAP NECESSARY
Sometimes teens (or even their parents) are so scared of acne that they use too harsh products and methods to get rid of it. There is no need to cause skin damage! New generation of anti-acne products is gentle and comfortable to use. Alcohol toners and harsh soap are very outdated.
TRY NOT TO MAKE SKIN DRY
The concept of young adult skin care has taken a u turn: teenage brands offer gentle cleansers and moisturisers that don’t involve the risk of skin drying and pigmentation after treatment. I for one welcome this change!
TEEN ROUTINE FOR ACNE
A nice gentle cleanser with low concentration of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide would come in handy. Use lukewarm water to wash your face, avoid hot water as it provokes inflammation. The second must-have product is a non-oily moisturiser enriched with prebiotic, such as alpha-glucan oligosaccharide or inulin to reduce sebum production. Look for a cream with butyl avocadate, Fomes officinalis, green tea, cinnamon bark and chamomile extracts, niacinamide, zinc, phytic and azelaic acids).