Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years


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GeneralHealth Info Home

Acne… What it is and what it isn't

When I ask young women what bothers them most about their health, many say, "my acne." Acne occurs during adolescent years more than at any other time. Actually, about 85% of adolescents have acne.

What causes acne for teens?
During the teenage years, increased hormone levels cause the skin's (sebaceous) glands to produce excess oil. The opening of the glands can get plugged and that leads to acne. A plug below the surface is a "whitehead" and above the surface a "blackhead".

What makes some get it worse than others?
There isn't a clear-cut answer to this question. Acne is affected by a girl's hormonal cycle, some cosmetics worn and genetic factors (passed down in family genes). Also, acne worsens if you work around grease or some chemicals. It is unclear how and if stress affects acne.

What can I do for acne?
Acne isn't caused by dirt or poor hygiene, but gentle washing with a mild soap once or twice daily can help prevent it from getting worse. Likewise, foods don't cause acne, but a healthy diet will certainly lead to healthier skin.

The most important thing that you can do is to avoid the temptation to pick, pop or squeeze. Always remember that your skin is the body's first line of defense.

Lastly, a visit to your doctor or nurse practitioner for an evaluation can be very helpful. If acne is at the point of causing scarring, make an appointment, as there are many new and safe acne treatments available today.

Lastly, we have a Healthy Skin Care Kit available in Programs and Products and we think you will find the products and written inserts to help your skin be "be as healthy as can be".

Written 9/00
Revised 5/01

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