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Teenage girl acne treatment: 13 tips for managing teen acne


13 tips for managing teen acne

Speaking of Health

Topics in this Post

  • Pediatric Medicine
  • Children’s Health (Pediatrics)
  • Cosmetic Services

Acne is a common condition faced by many teenagers. Although most teens will have acne at some point, your teen still may be embarrassed by it. As a parent or guardian, it is important to take your teen’s feelings about acne seriously. Acne can cause low self-esteem and lead to distress in teens. Helping your teen with acne management can make this time less stressful and decrease the long-term effects of acne.

You and your teen can follow these 13 tips to help manage or eliminate acne:

1. Have your teen use over-the-counter acne products, and wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser twice daily.

Look for products that contain topical benzoyl peroxide as the main active ingredient. Apply cleanser with fingertips, and rinse skin with lukewarm water.

2. After washing the skin, treat with a topical product containing adapelene.

Adapelene is helpful in unclogging pores and preventing new breakouts. A pea-sized amount should be applied to the entire face, avoiding easily irritated areas, such as the eyes and mouth. It also can be applied to the chest and back, if needed.

3. Avoid facial scrubs, astringents and facial cleanser masks, as well as excessive scrubbing and washing.

This can irritate the skin and worsen acne.

4. Remind your teen to use acne treatment, but only remind them occasionally.

A small study shows that fewer reminders from parents are more effective than reminding your child each day, which can be viewed as nagging.

5. Do not touch or pick at problem areas.

This can trigger acne, lead to infections and cause scarring.

6. Make sure your teen is wearing a clean face mask every day.

A dirty face mask will counteract other prevention strategies. Be sure to wash masks prior to wearing the first time. Use regular laundry detergent and hot water for washing face coverings.

7. Your teen should use shampoo every day.

This is especially needed if he or she has oily hair or problem areas around the hairline.

8. Shower after activities that cause sweat and oil production.

Exercising and wearing a hat or helmet can increase sweat and oil production.

9. Treat acne early.

It is easier to treat a few pimples than a breakout. Early treatment also can help prevent acne in adult years and reduce scars.

10. Protect skin from the sun.

Sun exposure can make acne worse, and some medications make skin susceptible to the sun’s rays. If your teen is planning to be in the sun, have them apply a nonoily moisturizer that includes sunscreen.

11. Avoid excessive amounts of cosmetics.

Cosmetics can cause pores to clog and worsen acne.

12. Protect skin from items that create friction or cause pressure.

Phones, helmets, backpacks, and tight collars and straps are examples.

13. Help your teenager manage and reduce stress.

Stress can cause acne to flare.

If your teen has tried over-the-counter acne products for several weeks and has not seen improvements, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or pediatrician who can prescribe stronger medications and help with treatment options.

Get additional tips to help your teen manage acne.

Dr. Manjunatha is a pediatrician in Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Information adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology

Topics in this Post

  • Pediatric Medicine
  • Children’s Health (Pediatrics)
  • Cosmetic Services

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5 tips to help your teen manage acne

The best acne treatment for teens, according to dermatologists

There are plenty of universal struggles that nearly everyone faces as a teenager, one of them being frequent breakouts. Acne plagues an estimated 80% of people between ages 11 and 30 at some point, according to The National Institutes for Health. And acne can take a toll on teens’ self esteem: Adolescents and young adults who suffer from acne have higher rates of anxiety and depression than those who do not, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

LEARN MORE What is acne? | How to treat teen acne | What makes teen acne worse? | When to see a dermatologist for acne

Fortunately, there are options for teens to improve acne and breakouts. To help you find the right products for you, we spoke to dermatologists about teen acne treatments and ingredients to look for. Experts also told us their top picks for the best acne-fighting products.

The best treatments for teen acne to shop, according to experts

Below, we gathered expert-recommended face washes and spot treatments that can help improve teen acne. All of the following products are non-comedogenic — meaning they won’t clog pores — and include acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and adapalene.

Best face cleansers for teen acne

La Roche Posay, Effaclar Gel Facial Wash for Oily Skin

Dr. Adnan Mir, assistant professor at New York Medical College and dermatopathologist at Dermpath Diagnostics in Port Chester, New York, recommended looking for non-comedogenic products because they won’t block pores. Recommended by Dr. Mona Gohara, a dermatologist at Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut, this foaming cleanser is both non-comedogenic and contains zinc pidolate, which has astringent, anti-inflammatory properties shown to improve acne.

Avéne Milk Cleanser

This gentle skin cleanser from French skin-care company Avéne is formulated with Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, so it’s “hydrating to keep the skin barrier healthy, yet not pore-clogging,” said Gohara. The no-rinse cleanser works to remove makeup, dirt and oil while providing moisture, according to the brand.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin

“Foam-based cleansers are better for those with oily skin,” said Dr. Samer Jaber, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City, who recommended this one from CeraVe. The brand says it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid to preserve the skin’s natural moisture and niacinamide, which helps to calm the skin. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and should remove any excess oil, dirt or makeup from the skin, according to the brand.

Best spot treatments for teen acne

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

“Differin gel is the only OTC retinoid available without a prescription and was a prescription medication for years,” Jaber noted. This treatment contains 0.1% adapalene, which experts told us works to regulate the turnover of cells lining the pores to reduce clogging. “If there’s one thing to pick to do for your acne, start using Differin gel at bedtime. Wash with a gentle cleanser, dry, and apply a pea size of Differin onto the entire face,” Jaber added.

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Treatment Gel

This spot treatment got a mention from both Gohara and Jaber for its strong, zit-zapping properties. It contains 10% benzoyl peroxide, which inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes acne, experts told us. Neutrogena says the spot treatment can reduce the size and redness of acne in just two hours.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, Glass Bottle Drying Lotion

Jaber recommends this tried and true quick-drying formula to those who are allergic to benzoyl peroxide. It contains salicylic acid to fight acne and calamine to calm irritated skin, according to the brand.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads

Gohara recommended these facial pads from First Aid Beauty because they’re made for sensitive skin and can gently exfoliate using its alcohol-free (non-drying) formula, according to the brand. It also contains hyaluronic acid and white tea extract to hydrate and protect your skin, First Aid Beauty says. The brand recommends using this product in the morning and in the evening after cleansing and before moisturizing.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that primarily affects the face, shoulders, chest and back. Fueled by fluctuating hormones that increase oil production in the skin, breakouts happen when that oil (also known as sebum) combines with dead skin cells, clogs pores and traps bacteria, which then causes inflammation, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Indeed, both whiteheads and blackheads are clogged sebaceous glands, Mir said. (The black color is due to the oil reacting with oxygen, not due to dirt.)

“People with acne have glands that make more oil and are more easily plugged,” he said.

Though it affects teens, there’s actually no standard age or period of time when this “oil surge” calms down, according to Gohara: “It’s completely genetic,” she said. “Some people never get it, for some people, it lasts five years.”

How to treat teen acne

Combating acne can be tough, and finding the root cause — whether that’s hormones, stress or genetics — can help you find the best solution. The experts we spoke to said there are generally two ways to treat teen acne and pimples: preemptive face-washing with appropriate cleansers and spot-treating breakouts.

Wash your face with gentle, soap-free cleanser

It’s important for teens to remove any makeup before bed, and also to wash their face every day — twice a day if they have oily skin or if their face gets dirty throughout the day, like after a workout, according to Jaber.

When it comes to face cleansers, teen acne sufferers should look for gentle, non-comedogenic products, which means they won’t block pores, said Mir. And “cleansers with ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can be very helpful for those with acne,” said Jaber, “but be careful as they can be irritating and drying.”

Spot treat pimples

All three dermatologists recommended teens spot treat pimples, from the second they start to develop until they’re just about gone. Look for a product containing a retinoid (a form of vitamin A that helps unclog pores), benzoyl peroxide (a topical antiseptic) or salicylic acid (an exfoliant that removes dead skin and unclogs pores), according to the experts.

What makes teen acne worse?

Making sure to minimize or avoid ways that could make acne worse is the key to reducing breakouts, according to our experts. In addition to a balanced diet and staying hydrated, the dermatologists we consulted noted that excessive face washing and exfoliating, popping pimples and trying multiple new products at once can all exacerbate acne.

Washing your face too often

Believe it or not, washing their face too much can leave teens’ susceptible to more breakouts. “One of the mistakes I commonly see with teens is they really want to get their skin better, and so they over-[wash] their skin,” says Jaber. That can dry out skin, which “can actually make breakouts worse,” he said.

Piling on the trendy products

“Teens tend to turn to their favorite influencer and start putting what I call ‘the kitchen sink approach’ on their face,” Gohara said, and that can “stoke” the acne “fire.” Acne breakouts can take five days to disappear, so it’s important for teens to stick to a basic routine and give their skin time to heal, she said.

Over scrubbing or exfoliating

Mir said teenage skin already sluffs dead skin cells on its own, so he discourages the use of apricot scrubs or scrubs containing beads, because they can be abrasive and irritating. Gohara also said scrubbing is a big no-no. “Sometimes, teens think acne is from dirt and they start to scrub it, but scrubbing is bad,” she said. Gohara recommended teens use a gentle, alcohol-free exfoliant once a week, in the form of glycolic pads.

Don’t pop pimples

Though it isn’t the absolute worst thing a teen can do (if the pimple has come to a head), according to the dermatologists we spoke to, all three warned against popping pimples. “Picking and popping pimples can lead to scarring, because you increase inflammation. Once in a while a dermatologist will do it, and some people feel a compulsion to pick and pop, but it’s something that we like to discourage,” said Mir.

When to see a dermatologist for acne

If breakouts leave scars or don’t respond to a regular routine of gentle cleansing, exfoliation and spot treatment, a consultation with a dermatologist might be in order, said Gohara. “Some people need something stronger to manage their acne, like an oral antibiotic,” she said.

And teens shouldn’t get discouraged. Though acne can be really annoying, 99.9% of cases are curable, according to Gohara.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Dr. Adnan Mir is the former committee chair for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. He is an assistant professor at New York Medical College and dermatopathologist at Dermpath Diagnostics in Port Chester, New York
  • Dr. Mona Gohara is a board-certified dermatologist at Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut.
  • Dr. Samer Jaber is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Teen acne treatment in Moscow


Acne (pimples and blackheads) or acne is by far one of the most common skin problems in adolescents. About 80% of all people encounter it between the ages of 12 and 25, and 30% try to get rid of it after 25 years.

Pimples are the result of inflammation of the sebaceous glands of the skin and are most often localized in the face, chest and back. What is the reason for the appearance of acne, red and white pimples on the face and other parts of the body in teenage girls and boys aged 13-15? Along with bacteria and genetic predisposition, the main role in the occurrence of acne is played by sex hormones, the content of which increases dramatically during adolescence, providing stimulation of sebum production. The active formation of dead epidermal cells in the excretory ducts of the sebaceous glands leads to their blockage. The formation of stagnation in the sebaceous gland is the cause of a constant increase in the number of bacteria, as a result of which inflammation occurs. Often there is a rupture of the walls of the overflowing gland, which allows microorganisms and their metabolic products to enter the surrounding skin areas and cause inflammation of a larger radius.

An important role in the formation of acne is played by diseases of the endocrine organs, stress, frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun.

To cure severe acne in a teenager, urgent medical attention is needed. Our clinic – the National Medical Research Center of Endocrinology – is a leading Russian multidisciplinary clinic that provides comprehensive treatment for acne, acne, acne and post-acne conditions in adolescents. Our doctors have gained a lot of experience in successful treatment.

Before starting the treatment of acne on the face, forehead or back, the specialists of our center determine the signs and causes of acne in a teenager and, most importantly, exclude / confirm various endocrine disorders that provoke the development and maintain the course of acne.

Even before the start of treatment, at the diagnostic stage, adolescents with acne, pimples and acne on the face or body are consulted by various specialists (if necessary / according to indications): a dermatocosmetologist, for girls – a gynecologist-endocrinologist, for boys – a urologist-andrologist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, psychologist, etc.

Studies of hormonal status, ultrasound, if necessary – bacteriological analysis of material from morphological elements, determination of lipid metabolism, etc.

Based on the results of the examinations and the identified causes, a diagnosis is established, and an individual complex tactics for the treatment of acne is developed for the teenager, taking into account the compensation of endocrine problems, the use of external procedures and home care.

Teen acne treatments

There are various treatments for acne, acne, pimples, blackheads in teenagers on the back, head, face, nose, arms, shoulders and other parts of the body. They are divided into three main groups:

  1. The use of pharmaceutical preparations for oral and external use;
  2. Performing external acne treatments;
  3. Competent home care for problem skin.

Taking into account the different stages of acne, it is possible to prescribe preparations with a detoxifying effect, antibiotics, hormonal agents, antiandrogens (drugs that reduce the level of male hormones in the blood and block excessive work of the sebaceous glands), external pharmaceutical preparations and immunocorrection for oral administration.

In the complex treatment of acne, acne and pimples in adolescents, according to patients and doctors in Moscow, in order to achieve the best possible results, cosmetic procedures are mandatory and no less important than taking medication.

Primary external treatments for acne

  • In the treatment of severe acne, acne and purulent acne in adolescents, the specialists of our clinic in Moscow use atraumatic complex manual facial cleansing using effective cosmeceutical products from leading world manufacturers (Danne, Holyland, Christina, Martinex, NaturaBisse, etc. ).

  • One of the most effective treatment procedures in the treatment of acne and acne in adolescents is a course of chemical peels (retinoic, coral, salicylic, almond, ferulic, ABR, etc.).

  • The introduction of biologically active preparations and hyaluronic acid into the skin during mesotherapy and biorevitalization helps to reduce sebum flow, resorption of infiltrates, reduces redness, significantly improves the structure and color of the skin.

  • An important place in therapy is occupied by laser treatment of acne in adolescents using the Fotona SP Dynamis neodymium laser. When exposed to the skin with an Nd:Yag laser, melanin and pyogenic bacteria, which cause acne, become targets. As a result of the procedure, the skin is sanitized, chronic and acute processes are stopped.

  • In the treatment of post-acne conditions (marks/scars), our clinic offers the widest range of effective professional laser procedures: laser peels (cold, hot), laser skin resurfacing and photothermal laser treatment to correct enlarged pores, various types of scars on the face and body, as well as stagnant and age spots. The obvious advantages of these procedures are the elimination of old superficial layers of cells, scar tissue, activation of metabolic processes in tissues, the launch of the synthesis of elastin and collagen fibers, which leads to a significant leveling of the relief, structure and color of the skin.

Home care is an important part of the complex acne treatment. Our dermatocosmetologists will help you choose the right cosmetics for home acne treatment and problem skin care for teenagers.

The main factor in the effective treatment of pimples and blackheads (acne) in adolescents is the regular and accurate implementation of the prescribed procedures in the clinic and at home.

  1. Prices for acne treatment using Fotona Nd:Yag laser technology
    1. Single element treatment


    2. Treatment of one area in the acute stage


    3. Treatment of acne of the whole face in the acute stage


    4. Treatment of congestive spots and post-acne scars – single elements (up to 10 pieces)


    5. Treatment of congestive spots and post-acne scars – whole face


  2. Prices for acne treatment using Palomar LuxMaxG IPL laser technology
    1. Treatment of congestive and age spots post-acne – the whole face


    2. Treatment of stasis and age spots post-acne – cheeks


    3. Treatment of stasis and age spots post-acne – forehead


    4. Treatment of stasis and age spots post-acne – chin


    5. Treatment of post-acne stasis and age spots – back


  3. Prices for Fotona Er:Yag laser treatments
    1. Light polishing leather “pearl shine”

    2. Facial polishing


    3. Regional polish (A6/10x14cm)


    4. Cold peeling

    5. Facial peeling


    6. Regional peeling (A6/10x14cm)


    7. Hot peeling

    8. Facial peeling


    9. Regional peeling (A6/10x14cm)


    10. Laser resurfacing

    11. Face resurfacing


    12. Regional sanding (A6/10x14cm)


    13. Scar polishing 1 cm2


    14. Fractional technologies with damage to the skin surface

    15. Fractional treatment of connective tissue, scar treatment/ per 1 cm2


    16. Fractional treatment of connective tissue, treatment of scars from 10 cm2 (per 1 cm2)


    17. Regional fractionation (A6/10x14cm)


    18. Therapeutic combined resurfacing (severe post-acne)


  4. Prices for procedures using Palomar 1540 laser technologies without damaging the skin surface
    1. Scars, scars treatment 1 cm2


    2. Post-acne treatment treatment area 1 cm2


    3. Cheek acne treatment


    4. Chin acne treatment


Federal State Budgetary Institution National Medical Research Center
Ministry of Health of Russia

Didn’t find the answer to your question?
Call and ask our specialists by phone +7 (495) 500 00 97 or write +7 (910) 455 34 97

SM-Doctor dermatologist told how a teenager can get rid of acne

Only 20 percent of schoolchildren can boast of healthy facial skin, the remaining 80 are forced to hide hated acne behind long bangs and under a thick layer of foundation. How to get rid of acne? We deal with an expert.

Alim Khakuashev


Dermatologist, cosmetologist, trichologist at the clinic for children and adolescents “SM-Doctor”

With the onset of puberty, hormonal changes in the body begin. Testosterone is to blame for everything, the level of which affects the function of the sebaceous glands. During puberty, their function increases, as a result of which acne appears. If a bacterial infection joins, pustules will develop.

At the age of 13-14, black spots and red inflammation on the forehead and cheeks become the number one problem. The child looks at himself in the mirror with horror. No persuasion and examples of stars (Cameron Diaz, Victoria Beckham, Rihanna), whose skin is far from ideal, do not help.

“Acne is an endless ridicule from classmates,” says the mother of a 15-year-old son. – Clean facial skin helps to become more confident, to overcome complexes. Unfortunately, there is no such miracle remedy that will get rid of acne once and for all. And dragging a teenager to a beautician is also not easy. I really don’t know what to do.”

Moms of girls in various forums also constantly discuss similar topics. “How to cure these teenage acne? – asks Svetlana, mother of a 12-year-old daughter. – We already had ointments, tinctures, lotions and so on in our arsenal. So far, nothing has helped to overcome this trouble. Grandmothers believe that in a couple of years everything will pass by itself, but I’m not sure.

A cosmetologist warns that acne will not disappear on its own: “In the presence of facial skin imperfections, you should contact a specialist as soon as possible so as not to start the problem and take the necessary measures in a timely manner. Often, children and adolescents are embarrassed to go to the doctor themselves or, due to their age, inadequately assess the severity of the disease. Therefore, parents should carefully monitor the condition of the skin of the child’s face and, if necessary, immediately sound the alarm.

Why acne appears

Acne is a serious skin disease that can occur with varying degrees of severity. Lead to the development of acne can:

  • Hormonal changes in the body.
  • Irrational nutrition (consumption of dairy products, sweets, soda, fast food), as well as taking certain medications. By the way, various steroid drugs are dangerous, which athletes who visit gyms especially like to take. Muscles will appear along with acne on the face.
  • Incorrectly selected care products and external therapy (a number of creams contain substances that can increase rashes).
  • Genetic predisposition plays a big role in the occurrence of acne. It has been proven that if one of the parents suffered from acne, then the child may also develop acne. And if both parents had this disease, then the child is much more likely to also have a complex due to acne.
  • Stress associated with passing exams, unrequited love, etc., have a negative impact on the skin condition.
  • Self-squeezing acne further exacerbates the skin condition. The desire of a teenager in such a radical way to solve problems can lead to irreversible consequences. This is primarily due to the structural features of the pustules. Getting rid of one, you will only contribute to the spread of infection into the deeper layers of the skin, and in this place more pronounced inflammation and even more pimples will most likely appear.
  • “Irrational treatment and self-medication can lead to a deterioration in the condition of the skin,” the doctor warns. – Progression of the disease, as well as serious complications, including the appearance of marks (scars) on the skin of the face, with which the child will then have to live. Therefore, with such problems, it is imperative to consult a doctor for an individual selection of treatment.

Important! Too clean children also suffer from acne. Often, teenagers in the fight against acne begin to fanatically wash themselves and wipe the skin with various lotions.