Acne is an unfortunate part of puberty for many teenage males. Even though most people get a pimple now and then, your teenage son may find his acne to be embarrassing, particularly if it is all over his face and not just a blemish here and there. Help your teenager deal with his acne by giving him over-the-counter products that work to fight pimples and clear the skin. If OTC treatments don’t improve his acne within a few months, take him to see a doctor.
Cleansers with Benzoyl Peroxide
Certain facial cleansers and pimple treatments contain benzoyl peroxide, which works against acne by drying the skin, exfoliating it and by killing acne-causing bacteria, according to Family Doctor. MayoClinic.com recommends trying products that contain benzoyl peroxide first, since it works well for most types of acne and does not irritate many people. Give your son a cleanser containing a low amount of benzoyl peroxide and instruct him to wash his face with it twice a day. Avoid cleansers that have built-in scrubbers or exfoliating beads, as these may make acne worse by irritating his skin. Benzoyl peroxide can bleach hair and fabric if it comes in direct contact with them, according to MedlinePlus.
Cleansers with Salicylic Acid
Some acne cleansers and products contain salicylic acid, which fights acne in a way that is similar to benzoyl peroxide: the acid kills bacteria and removes dead skin cells. Salicylic acid can cause irritation and overly dry skin, so your son should start using a cleanser with salicylic acid once a day and increase to twice daily after a few weeks. If a product containing benzoyl peroxide is not entirely effective at fighting your son’s acne, he might want to try pairing it with a product that contains salicylic acid, according to the MayoClinic.com. For instance, give him a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide to use in the morning and a cleanser with salicylic acid to use at night.
Acne Cream and Astringent
Your son may find that he needs more than just a cleanser to help fight his acne. An acne cream with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help him combat the occasional blemish or pimple. Have him apply the cream to the pimple before going to bed and again in the morning until the pimple dries up and vanishes. Some acne creams are tinted to blend in with the skin. Your son may prefer those if he is particularly embarrassed by his pimples. He may also want to try using an astringent or toner to fight acne. Both remove excess oil from the face, but a toner may be gentler since it typically does not contain alcohol.