Acne In Teens

Acne In Teens

Updated April, 2021

Acne Goes Back To School Too!

It is Back to School time and what better time to talk about teens and acne. The last thing you or your teen wants is to show up on the first day of school with a breakout. However, for many adolescents it is inevitable.


We hope this information will provide some ideas, help and guidance for your teen to put their best face first and have an awesome school year.

teens are prone to get acne due to hormonal imbalance

85-90% of teens will experience acne breakouts.

What Causes Teens To Get Acne?

The type of acne that a lot of teenagers get is called acne vulgaris. It usually shows up on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back, and chest. The hair follicles, or pores, in our skin contain sebaceous glands (also called oil glands). These glands make sebum, which is an oil that lubricates our hair and skin.


Most of the time, the sebaceous glands make the right amount of sebum. However, as a teen's body begins to mature and develop, hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, and the glands may become overactive.


Pores become clogged if there is too much sebum and too many dead skin cells. Bacteria (especially one called Propionibacterium acnes) can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply, causing swelling and redness — the start of acne. Aside from these, there have been studies indicating stress and diet as additional acne triggers too.


Teens are more likely than adults to jump from product to product, searching for an acne remedy. Teenagers who are very upset about the state of their skin may use topical medications in excess, in an attempt to speed up acne clearing.


It's important for teens to understand that all acne medications, including over-the-counter remedies, must be used as directed. Applying too often or in too great of concentration can easily cause excessive dryness, peeling, redness, irritation, and can actually prolong healing time.

Acne Prevention Tips

Here are tips that may help control acne.

    • Don't over-wash or use harsh scrubs. Acne is not caused by dirt. Two gentle washing a day is enough. Too much cleaning can leave skin irritated and dry, triggering glands to produce more oil, increasing the likelihood of pimples.
    • Use oil-free or noncomedogenic products (those that won't clog pores) on your face. Try a salicylic acid facial wash to help clear pores of dead skin, thus preventing clogged pores and acne. You may also use a benzoyl peroxide facial wash to target acne-causing bacteria.  
    • Don't squeeze or pick blemishes. Popping pimples can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin. Picking can lead to more inflammation and permanent scarring.
    • An acne-treatment light, such as the BlueMD, have been scientifically proven to reduce or eliminate acne (especially for teens) when used as directed. The BlueMD uses both blue and red light technology to kill the bacteria that causes acne and heal the skin from inflammation and scarring at the same time. Acne light treatment plans vary depending on severity. Have your teen take our free skin assessment to find out if the BlueMD is right for them.
psychological effects of acne

According to the Dermatology Online Journal UC Davis - The presence of acne can negatively affect quality of life, self-esteem, and mood in adolescents. Acne is associated with an increased incidence of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

How you can help your teen cope with acne

  • Be sensitive to their feelings. Most likely, your child is self-conscious about his acne. Don't joke about their pimples. Most importantly, don't downplay their feelings or tell them that they are just being too sensitive or dramatic.
  • Support them in their treatment. Share this article with them. Help them choose the best products or treatment plan. Take them to a dermatologist. Be encouraging and gently remind them to follow their treatment plan.
  • Remember to continually praise and congratulate your teen for their achievements. Shining a light on their talents will go along way in keeping their self esteem intact when they don't feel great about their outward appearance.