Urgh, Acne. Acne is probably one of the most frustrating parts of growing up, in fact almost 85% of Australians will experience bouts of acne during their teenage years. But never fear there are plenty of things you can do to help soothe your skin and get on with more enjoyable things like having foot-bath while eating toasted marshmallows.
The most common type of acne teens get is acne vulgaris (don’t panic vulgaris just means most common!). Cases of acne can be very minor or they can be more extensive and usually show up on the face, neck, shoulders, chest and/or back. Girls will usually develop acne before boys as they tend to go through puberty earlier. Acne and breakouts often increase around the time of your period, when hormones are peaking.
Acne occurs when our oil glands get blocked and bacteria is trapped inside. During puberty, while your hormones are doing magic tricks, your glands (sebaceous glands) increase in size and you start to produce a lot more oil (sebum). This increases the chance of your oil glands being filled up, if the glands become blocked you get a build-up of oil and eventually a pimple. Acne occurs when bacteria gets trapped in the glands and starts multiplying causing the pimple to become red and swell.
Different types of acne bumps and lumps include;
If you have tried all you can at home and you are still concerned about your pimples or acne head to your local pharmacists or GP and have a chat with them. Check out our post on going to the doctor on your own if you don’t feel comfortable going with a parent. They will be able to recommend some treatments. You may have to try a few different treatments before you find one that works for you. If your acne is very severe and these treatments don’t work your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist (a skin specialist) who can prescribe medication like retinoids, antibiotics or hormonal agents that can dramatically reduce the severity and number of pimples.