During the teenage years, acne may seem like a part of life. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty cause the body to produce too much sebum, or oil. The extra sebum, along with dead skin cells, clogs pores, creating a great spot for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria forms into cysts, which can rupture to form pimples or papules. Some teenagers seem to get off easy and only suffer the occasional pimple, while others may have acne all over their faces, necks and backs. Acne usually goes away with the proper care and treatment.
Wash your face no more than twice a day. Use a gentle facial cleanser to wash the face. Avoid facial scrubs, which can be very harsh and can irritate your skin. Don’t try to scrub the acne off your skin with your hands or a washcloth. Too much force while washing your face will make your problem worse.
Wear a moisturizer that is oil-free and that will not clog your pores. Depending on how much acne you have, an moisturizer with salicylic acid in it may be especially useful. If you wear cosmetics, such as foundation or powder, make sure they are noncomedogenic, which means they will not clog your pores.
Wear an oil-free, non-clogging sunscreen daily to protect your skin. Sun exposure can make acne worse in some cases.
Brush your hair off of your face. If you have long hair, try wearing it in a ponytail or braid to keep it from touching your face. The oil on your hair can mix with the oils on your face, making acne worse. If you use hair products, such as gel or hairspray, try not to get them on your face. They can clog pores, according to Kids Health.
Use a cream that has benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid in it to treat pimples and other cysts. An astringent can also help dry up excess oil and treat pimples. Test the cream or astringent first to make sure you won’t have an allergic reaction to it. Depending on your skin’s sensitivity, you may only want to use the product every other day. Reduce your use if your skin feels tight or irritated.
See a dermatologist if your acne persists. She may prescribe a stronger cream or an oral antibiotic to help clear the acne.