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Best Acne Treatment for Teens

Firstly, it is important to understand what causes acne in the first place. Acne is often caused by excess oil production, which clogs pores and leads to breakouts. Hormonal fluctuations can also trigger acne, which is why many teenagers experience breakouts during puberty. It is important to note that popping pimples can make breakouts worse and lead to scarring, so it is best to avoid this.

There are a variety of treatments available that can help to clear up teenage acne and improve the appearance of the skin. In this article, we'll discuss some of the best acne treatments, their benefits, potential side effects, and more.

Dead skin cells

Dead skin cells play a critical role in the development of acne in teenagers. Acne is caused when oil glands under the skin become blocked by a buildup of sebum and dead skin cells.

The dead skin cells can clog pores and cause pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads to form on the skin's surface. Removing dead skin cells can help to reduce the severity and frequency of acne breakouts, making it a crucial step in any teenage acne treatment plan.

Inflammatory acne

Inflammatory acne is a common type of acne that is often seen in teens. This type of acne is characterized by red, swollen, and painful bumps that are filled with pus. Inflammatory acne is caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, clogged pores, and bacteria.

To treat inflammatory acne, teens may need to use a combination of topical and oral medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, antibiotics, and retinoids. It's important to work closely with a board certified dermatologist to find the best treatment plan for each individual's skin type and severity of acne.

Additionally, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and practicing good skincare habits can also help to improve the appearance of inflammatory acne.

Treat Teen acne

  1. Topical Treatments:

Topical treatments are medications that are applied directly to the skin. There are several different types of topical antiseptic for acne, including:

Benzoyl Peroxide:

Benzoyl peroxide is a popular treatment for teenage acne. It works by killing acne-causing bacteria that can cause acne breakouts and preventing clogged pores. It comes in various forms, such as gels, creams, and washes, and can be found over-the-counter at most drugstores.

It is recommended to start with a lower concentration of benzoyl peroxide and gradually increase the strength to avoid skin irritation. It may take several weeks for noticeable results, but consistent use can lead to clearer skin.

Benzoyl peroxide is particularly effective for treating inflammatory acne, as it has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

As with any acne treatment, it is important to follow the directions and use as directed to avoid unwanted side effects. Benzoyl peroxide can be very effective in treating mild to moderate acne, but it may not work for severe cases. In some cases, it may cause dryness, peeling, and irritation of the skin, especially in people with sensitive skin. It is also important to note that benzoyl peroxide can bleach clothing and bedding, so it is best to use it at night and avoid contact with fabric. Benzoyl peroxide should not be used with other acne treatments without consulting a dermatologist.


Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A that work by preventing the formation of new pimples and reducing the appearance of existing ones. They are also effective at unclogging pores. Retinoids are available by prescription only and may cause skin irritation and sensitivity to sunlight.


Topical antibiotics work by killing acne causing bacteria. They are often used in combination with other acne treatments. Topical antibiotics may cause skin dryness and irritation, and may also contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  1. Salicylic Acid:

Salicylic acid is a widely used ingredient for treating teen acne. It is a beta-hydroxy acid that works by exfoliating the skin, unclogging pores, and reducing inflammation. Salicylic acid is particularly effective for treating pimples like whiteheads and blackheads, which are common in teens with oily skin. It also helps to regulate oil production and prevent new acne breakouts.

When using salicylic acid for teenage acne treatment, it is important to start with a lower concentration, like spot treatment and gradually increase as tolerated. It may take a few weeks to see significant improvement, but with consistent use, salicylic acid can help improve the overall appearance and health of teen skin.

  1. Glycolic Acid:

Glycolic acid is a popular ingredient used in teen acne treatment due to its exfoliating properties. It is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) that works by removing the top layer of dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. Glycolic acid also helps to reduce inflammation and promote cell turnover, which can improve the overall appearance of the skin.

It is important to note that while glycolic acid can be effective in treating teen acne, it can also cause skin irritation if used in high concentrations. Therefore, it is recommended to start with a low concentration and gradually increase as tolerated. It is also important to use sunscreen when using glycolic acid as it can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Hyaluronic acid:

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that helps to retain moisture and promote skin hydration. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a key ingredient in acne treatments for teenagers.

Hyaluronic acid can help to soothe and hydrate acne-prone skin, reducing inflammation and preventing further breakouts. It also has anti-aging benefits, promoting the production of collagen and elastin, which can help to reduce the appearance of acne scars. Additionally, hyaluronic acid is safe and gentle on all skin types, making it a great option for teenagers who may have sensitive skin.

  1. Oral Medications:

In some cases, prescription medications like oral medications may be prescribed to treat acne. These prescription medications are usually reserved for more severe cases of acne that have not responded to topical treatments.

Oral medications for acne include:


Oral antibiotics work by killing the acne causing bacteria. They are often used in combination with topical treatments. Oral antibiotics may cause side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and yeast infections.


Isotretinoin is a powerful medication that is used to treat severe acne that has not responded to other treatments. It works by reducing the amount of oil produced by the skin and preventing clogged pores. Isotretinoin can cause severe side effects, including birth defects, liver damage, and depression. It is only available by prescription and is typically used as a last resort.

Differin gel:

Differin gel is a commonly prescribed medication for teenage acne treatment. It is a topical medication that contains adapalene, a type of retinoid that helps unclog pores, reduce inflammation and prevent acne from forming. Differin gel is particularly effective for treating blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

It is recommended to use the medication once a day before bedtime, after cleansing the face. It is important to be consistent with the use of Differin gel to see significant improvement in the skin. Although it can take a few weeks to see visible results, the medication can effectively clear up acne and prevent future breakouts when used as directed.

Other Treatments:

a. Chemical Peels: Chemical peels are a type of treatment that uses a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of the skin. This can help to reduce the appearance of acne and improve the texture of the skin. Chemical peels can cause skin irritation and sensitivity to sunlight.

b. Light Therapy: Light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and kills bacteria that cause acne. This treatment is often used in combination with other acne treatments. Light therapy may cause skin redness and dryness.

Birth control:

Hormonal changes during puberty can cause an increase in acne breakouts. If over-the-counter products do not work, teenagers can consider other options like birth control or seeing a board-certified dermatologist. Birth control can help regulate hormones and reduce acne breakouts. A board-certified dermatologist can provide a more personalized treatment plan that is tailored to an individual’s skin type and acne severity.

Body Washes

Teenagers who experience acne on areas other than their face, such as their chest or back, may benefit from using a body wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These products can help clear acne, reducing the severity of breakouts on the body.

Another effective way to treat acne is to remove excess oil from the skin. This can be done by using products that contain ingredients such as green tea, which can help to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation. It is also important to avoid using products that clog pores, such as heavy makeup or face creams.

Preventing Teenage acne:

In addition to these treatments, there are also several things that young adults can do to help prevent acne and prevent breakouts and promote healthy skin. These include:

  • Washing the entire face twice a day with a gentle cleanser or gentle face wash

  • Avoiding touching the teen's face

  • Using oil-free makeup and skin care products

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet

  • Getting plenty of sleep

  • Managing and reducing stress

In addition to using a gentle cleanser, there are a number of other acne products that can be used to help fight acne. These include a spot treatment that can be applied directly to pimples to help reduce inflammation and redness. It is important to note that these products should only be used as directed, as overuse can irritate the skin and make acne worse.

Side Effects of Teen Acne Treatments:

Teenage acne treatment, like any other medication, can have side effects. The most common side effects include skin dryness, peeling, and redness. These symptoms are often temporary and can be managed by using a moisturizer and avoiding excessive sun exposure. Some treatments may also cause skin sensitivity and irritation. In rare cases, oral acne medication can cause liver damage and lead to depression or mood swings. It is essential to follow the dosage instructions provided by your doctor to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. If you experience severe side effects or are concerned about any symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.

When it comes to treating acne, it is important to establish a good skin care routine. This should involve using a gentle cleanser that is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. Look for acne fighting products like face washes that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can help to fight acne and removes excess oil from the skin. Face washes twice a day go along way in reducing a teen's acne.

Over the counter acne treatments that are oil-free can be an effective way to treat acne in teens. These products contain ingredients that help to unclog pores, removes excess oil, reduce inflammation, and kill acne-causing bacteria. While there are many options to choose from, it's important to select products that are specifically designed for acne-prone skin and to follow the instructions carefully to avoid irritation or dryness. With a consistent routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and spot treatment, teens can improve the appearance of their skin and boost their confidence.

Treating teenage acne can be challenging, but with the right approach and the right products, it is possible to achieve clearer, healthier-looking skin. Establishing a good skin care routine, using a gentle cleanser and acne products, and avoiding triggers that can lead to more breakouts are all important steps in fighting acne and achieving clearer skin.

Visit Visage Laser and Skin Care to learn more.


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