Read the latest in Beauty News from our professional therapists at Complete Skin & Beauty.

Teen Acne

As a parent or guardian, watching your teen go through the awkward stage of puberty can be a challenging time, especially when it comes to dealing with teen acne. Hang in there Mum, Dad, or Carer, we've got you. 

While it's important to approach the topic with sensitivity and care, it's also essential to be informed about the condition, how to help your teen manage it effectively, and how to avoid the long term effects on both their self esteem and their skin.

Firstly, it's important to understand that teen acne is a common skin condition that affects many teenagers worldwide, up to 85% in fact. It occurs during puberty; the increase in hormone levels lead to more oil production and increased risk of acne.

Secondly, it's crucial to approach the topic with empathy and understanding. Acne can have a significant impact on a teenager's self-esteem, and they may feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their appearance. It's essential to reassure them that acne is a temporary condition and that there are various treatments available to manage it effectively.

What causes Teen Acne?

Teen acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is caused by a combination of factors including:

Hormonal changes: During puberty, the body produces more androgens, a type of hormone that increases the production of oil in the skin, leading to clogged pores and acne.

Bacteria: A type of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) can thrive in clogged pores, cause inflammation and infect the follicles.

Genetics: Some studies suggest that there may be a genetic predisposition to acne, meaning that it can run in families.

Diet: Some studies suggest that certain foods like dairy and high sugar foods may contribute to acne development.

Stress: Stress can trigger the release of hormones like cortisol, which can increase oil production in the skin and contribute to acne development.

Medications: Some medications like corticosteroids, androgenic steroids, and lithium can cause or exacerbate acne.

Skincare products: Using poor quality products that contain comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients and stripping ingredients can contribute to acne development, along with slowing the skin's healing process.

While these factors can contribute to acne development, it's essential to note that acne is a multifactorial condition, meaning that it's usually caused by a combination of factors rather than one specific cause. Understanding the underlying causes of acne can help with developing effective treatment strategies that target these factors. 

Now this is where most parents get stumped. Who do you go to? What are your first steps? How can you help your teen? 

Seeing as the cause of acne is multifaceted, so is the solution.

Step 1. Investigate the root cause. This could mean a visit to the GP for a blood test, if you decide this is for you, these are the areas you want looked into:

  • Hormone levels to check for imbalances
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Nutrient deficiencies: check zinc, Vitamin A and D, and Omega-3
  • Insulin resistance 
  • Liver function
  • Thyroid function

Step 2. Identify if there are any food intolerances, such as Dairy. Here's why:

Hormonal influence: Dairy products contain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, that can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body and contribute to acne formation.

Insulin response: Dairy consumption can lead to an increase in insulin levels, triggering the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which is associated with the development of acne.

Inflammation: Dairy products, particularly high-glycemic ones like milk and cheese, can promote inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to acne and can worsen existing skin conditions.

Increased sebum production: Dairy consumption may stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.

Now, finding out if your teen has any food intolerances is pretty straight forward, but not easy for a craving crazed teen. It's as simple as cutting that food group out entirely. It takes at least 4 weeks of no Cow Dairy to start seeing a change (milk, cheese, whey protein, and keep an eye out for hidden dairy products in food).

Step 3. Visit a naturopath for Root Cause treatment. They will work with natural remedies to help address your GPs findings from the inside.

Step 4. Book in for a Skin Consultation with an experienced Skin therapist. You will receive a tailored skincare routine and treatment plan to aid in the healing and repairing of your teens skin. 

Your teen’s skincare routine may consist:

  • Double Cleansing twice a day with a soap free gentle cleanser
  • A treatment product or two to heal, clear the active acne and prevent post inflammatory pigmentation/scarring
  • Hydrate/moisturise twice a day to manage moisture levels
  • SPF daily to help the skin heal and protect from environmental stressors while undergoing recovery.

Your treatment plan may include:

So there you have it guys, thank you for taking the time to hear my take on Teen Acne. Just for a quick recap, below are my top tips for treating teen acne:

Top tips: 

  1. Avoid band-aid fixes such as the pill, antibiotics and Roaccutane. These will not fix the root cause and in most cases only temporarily fix acne.
  2. Focus on the gut. Eliminate any intolerances, eat wholefoods, omega-3, zinc, and both pre and probiotics.
  3. Use quality skincare
  4. A holistic approach is always best for long-term results.

Meet Elle, Senior Therapist at Complete Skin and Beauty Albany Creek! With 16 years of experience under her belt, she's an expert in all things beauty, from treatments to training and coaching multiple clinics to success. While she's achieved countless milestones throughout her career, her true passion lies in helping her peers become the best therapists they can be. After taking a year off for maternity leave, she returned to Albany Creek, eager to dive back into her passion for sharing knowledge and helping her lovely clients feel absolutely fabulous.

Senior Therapist
Complete Skin & Beauty Albany Creek