Pimples? What's on my face, chest and back? You are not the only teenager with ACNE. Chances are about 8 out of 10 of your friends are also wondering about their skin, and having concerns about taking care of their skin. Acne is a skin condition that causes bumps (pimples, blackheads, whiteheads) on the face, upper back, shoulders and chest. It is not caused by eating too much chocolate and does not go away with tanning. It is usually the result of changes in hormones that occur during puberty. As if puberty, middle school, dating, and body image wasn't enough to deal with. Here are some tips to handle this teen topic:
-Wash your face twice daily. There are several over the counter washes that can be used on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Most of these washes contain ingredients such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
-Use noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic products. There are several types of make-up, sunscreens and moisturizers available. Try to purchase products that are labeled noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic, this means they will not clog the pores and therefore not contribute to acne.
-Don't pop that bump! Squeezing the skin causes more swelling and trauma which actually makes acne worse. It is very difficult to resist, but remember it makes the healing process longer and it causes permanent scarring.
-Avoid getting hair products on your face. Hair sprays, gels and other products can promote acne by plugging pores and increasing oil production. If those products come into contact with your face, try to wash as quickly as possible. Try to wash your hair daily.
-Change pillow cases and face towels at least twice weekly. Clean sports equipment such as helmets and baseball caps frequently. This will decrease your skin's exposure to bacteria, dirt and oils that can make acne worse.
If these strategies still leave you worried about your skin, schedule an appointment to visit us at Georgetown Pediatrics. There are prescription medications, other options and specialists that can help.
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