Know Your Teen's Skin Condition
Adolescence can as stressful as it is exciting. On top of all the real-world stresses, teens must deal with hormonal fluctuations that not only contribute to a whirlwind of strong emotions, but can also wreak havoc on the skin. The key to treating skin problems that your teen may experience is knowing how to recognize the skin issue and type of skin your teen has.
Know Your Skin Types
Determining skin type is the first step toward tackling your teen's skin concerns.
- Oily Skin -- while all skin produces sebum, a natural lubricant, oily skin occurs when sebum production goes into overdrive, creating a shiny appearance and a perfect environment for the development of acne.
- Normal Skin -- is balanced, producing neither too much nor too little sebum.
- Combination Skin -- possesses patches of excess oil production but areas of chronic dryness that may flake or peel.
- Dry Skin -- produces little oil, is prone to flaking, feels itchy, tight and can sometimes appear inflamed and irritated.
Know Your Acne
Acne isn't just the embarrassing pimple that pops up before a big date. Acne includes blackheads, whiteheads and nodules that can be equally as distressing to a young person. Some teens mistakenly believe that blackheads are evidence that their face is dirty. Blackheads are clogged pores that have been exposed to oxygen, which makes them appear as tiny, dark spots on the skin. Whiteheads are clogged pores that do not have an outlet to the outside of the skin. Because the clogged debris never reaches the air, it does not oxidize, leaving a white appearance. Nodules and cysts are hard, painful bumps that are best treated under a dermatologists care. With several different types of acne and skin types there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s important to use the right product for your teen’s specific skin needs.
Say No to Squeaky Clean
Cleansing excessively will just make the problem worse by inflaming the skin and signaling it to produce even more oil. It's best to use a cleanser suited to the specific skin type, and no more than twice a day to prevent irritation. Oily and combination skin can benefit from a cleanser that includes acne fighters such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Scrubs can be used once or twice a week to speed up cell turnover and reveal newer skin. Some scrubs are even gentle enough for daily use. Dry skin should always be followed up with a separate oil-free moisturizer designed for this specific skin type. Skin that is too dry can become easily inflamed, leading to breakouts.
Treat and Conceal
Maintaining the right balance of oil production and bacteria vanquishing are essential for any acne regimen. For years, benzoyl peroxide has been the gold standard in fighting acne as it kills blemish-causing bacteria, but for some with sensitive skin, this medication can be too irritating. Salicylic acid gel medication is gentler than benzoyl peroxide and may be tolerated better by those with more sensitive or dry skin. Some medications come with a tint to tone down the redness of a pimple. There are also concealers with salicylic acid as an active ingredient. A leave-on treatment in addition to your cleanser will fight acne around the clock as the medicine remains on the skin.
Treating a Troubled Complexion
Sometimes there is more than just a pimple or two to deal with. Those who experience frequent breakouts or have acne present on several areas of the face should try using a moisturizer specifically made for acne-prone skin. Astringents, toners and treatment pads allow you to treat large areas of the face easily.
© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2015
Did You Know?
The skin is the largest organ of the body, weighing around 8 pounds in adults and with a total surface area of roughly 20 square feet. Acne is the most common skin condition, affecting over 40 million Americans. Acne affects people of all ages, not just teens. In 2004 Americans spent over $2 billion treating acne.