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What is the Best Treatment for Teenage Acne?

Every teenager comes across acne during the puberty/maturity period. The occurrence of acne is due to clogged skin pores. Pimples appear on the face, chest, neck, shoulders, and back. Although acne is a non-serious skin issue, neglecting it can turn moderate acne into severe condition leaving behind a scar. Teenage acne can be best treated by a dermatologist as they know the severity of your teenager’s acne and they will prescribe appropriate medicines and cleansing agents to treat teenage acne.

Acne in teenagers appears as any of the following:

  • Whiteheads – White dots that protrude to the skin surface and that contain the excessive sebum along with bacteria and dead skin cells.
  • Blackheads – Bumps black in color appear on the surface, where the material present within the pores pushes through the hair follicles. The appearance of dark color is due to the reaction of the bacteria/skin cells with that of oxygen.
  • Nodules – High degree of acne causes red and swollen bumps that cause infection and are inflammatory. They are serious, as the bacteria can penetrate to additional layers of the skin causing more pain and making the skin hard.

What is The Best Treatment for Teenage Acne?

Dermatologists, experts in treating skin problems, are correct people to consult for treating teenage acne. However, if the degree of occurrence of teenage acne is mild, it is possible for a pediatrician, or a general practitioner to treat teenage acne. Speaking about teenage acne treatment, the following methods are applicable:

  • Nonprescription treatment is one of the best treatments for teenage acne. Under the nonprescription treatment, as a patient, it is possible for him or her to acquire medicines that cure acne over-the-counter. They are not oral medications but topical creams. These topical creams include benzoyl peroxide, acetic acid, and salicylic acid. The medications are available in different forms such as soaps, creams, lotions, and gels. To see the results, it is necessary for the applicant to use the non-prescribed product for a minimum of six weeks to notice the change.
  • Prescription treatment is the best treatment for teenage acne. Prescription treatment involves oral as well as topical creams prescribed by a dermatologist. Topical treatments for acne include antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, azelaic acid, tretinoin, and dapsone. Oral drug treatment requires a closer observation. The treatment is helpful in curbing the growth of bacteria, apart from decreasing the acne. However, continuing them for prolonged period causes resistance towards antibiotics. It will be an advantage for the bacteria, as it will continue to grow irrespective of the intake of the medicine. Therefore, a dermatologist prescribes the medication for a maximum of four of six months period.

Why Do Some Teenagers Have Acne While Others Do Not?

Why Do Some Teenagers Have Acne While Others Do Not?

It is unclear why a few teenagers acquire acne in their younger years while a few do not have it at all. However, the reason behind the occurrence of acne is due to androgen hormones. These hormones, released by the body, are responsible for secretion of oil through the glands that lie beneath the skin. The generation of these hormones by the body happens during the teenage period.

Tips to Prevent Teenage Acne

Apart from depending solely on medication for teenage acne, preventing further acne is also possible with the help of the following tips:

  • Use a cleansing agent consisting of benzoyl peroxide or as prescribed by the dermatologist. Do not over wash the face or scrub it too hard. Remember that dirt does not cause teenage acne. Washing the face for two times in a day will prevent triggering of the glands to produce excessive oil.
  • Use oil-free products or greasy substances that are common across several types of cosmetics to prevent teenage acne.
  • Do not pop a pimple. Doing so will cause the bacteria to penetrate further into the skin, and bloom at different parts. It can also cause pain and leave behind a permanent scar.


  1. Mayo Clinic – “Acne: Symptoms & Causes”: Understand the factors behind teenage acne and how it can be managed. Mayo Clinic – Teenage Acne

  2. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) – “Questions and Answers About Acne”: Gain insights into the causes of acne and tips for prevention. NIAMS – Acne Q&A

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2023

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