The Difference Between Teen and Adult Acne

The Difference Between Teen and Adult Acne

Acne is almost a right of passage for the majority of us. Nine out of ten people will suffer from acne at some point in their lives so here is some helpful information you can use to understand and mitigate acne as much as possible. 

What causes teen acne

Teen acne, also known as adolescent acne, is primarily caused by a combination of factors including hormonal changes, genetics, and skin care practices. 

Here are some of the key factors that contribute to the development of teen acne:

  1. Hormonal Changes: One of the main triggers of teen acne is the surge in hormone production during puberty, specifically androgens (male hormones) such as testosterone. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more sebum (skin oil), which can clog pores and lead to the formation of acne.
  2. Increased Sebum Production: As mentioned, the hormonal changes in puberty lead to an increase in sebum production. Excess sebum can mix with dead skin cells and bacteria, forming a plug in the hair follicles, which then leads to the development of acne.
  3. Hair Follicle Blockage: The combination of excess sebum and dead skin cells can clog hair follicles, creating an environment where bacteria (particularly Propionibacterium acnes or P. Acnes) thrive. This can lead to inflammation and the formation of different types of acne lesions, such as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, and cysts.
  4. Genetics: Family history plays a role in the likelihood of developing acne. If your parents or close relatives had acne, you might be more prone to experiencing it yourself.
  5. Skin Care Habits: Improper skin care practices, such as using harsh or comedogenic (pore-clogging) skincare products, over-washing the face, or not keeping the skin clean, can exacerbate acne or make it harder to manage.
  6. Diet: While the direct link between diet and acne is still debated among researchers, some studies suggest that high-glycemic index foods (sugary and processed foods) and dairy products might influence acne development in certain individuals.
  7. Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollutants, high humidity, and excessive sweating can contribute to the development of acne by further clogging pores.

It’s important to note that while these factors contribute to the onset of teen acne, each individual’s experience can vary. Some people might experience mild acne, while others might have more severe cases. Proper skincare, a healthy diet, and seeking medical advice from a dermatologist or advice from a properly trained aesthetician can help manage and treat teen acne effectively.

Top 10 things to do to clear teen acne

Clearing teen acne involves a combination of good skincare practices, lifestyle adjustments, and possibly medical treatments. Here are the top 10 things you can do to help clear teen acne:

  1. Cleanse Gently: Use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser once to twice daily to clean your face. Avoid over-cleansing, as this can strip the skin of essential oils and worsen acne by stimulating more sebum production.
  2.  Moisturize: Even if you have oily skin, moisturizing is important to keep the skin hydrated. Choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
  3.  Avoid Harsh Products: Avoid using harsh scrubs, astringents, or abrasive products that can irritate the skin and worsen acne. Look for products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.”
  4. Hands Off: Avoid picking, squeezing, or touching your acne lesions. Picking can lead to inflammation, scarring, and the spread of bacteria.
  5. Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily to protect your skin from UV rays. Some acne treatments can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. A mineral sunscreen is better than one laden with chemicals. 
  6. Healthy Diet: Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. While the link between diet and acne is still debated, a healthy diet can contribute to overall skin health.  
  7. Hydration: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and help flush out toxins.
  8. Regular Exercise: Exercise can help improve blood circulation and reduce stress, which may indirectly benefit your skin.
  9. Manage Stress: High stress levels can trigger hormonal fluctuations that contribute to acne. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. Time in nature is also very calming for our parasympathetic nervous system. 
  10. Consult an Aesthetician or Dermatologist: If over-the-counter products are not effective, get a consultation. Aestheticians are a great place to start as dermatologists can take weeks to see. You can generally book free consults with an aesthetician at a reputable skin care clinic. A dermatologist will generally recommend prescription treatments such as topical retinoids, antibiotics, or other medications tailored to your specific needs. Do your research especially if you are considering taking Accutane. 

Remember that clearing acne takes time, and what works for one person may not work for another. Be patient and consistent with your skincare routine, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if your acne is severe or persistent. An aesthetician can provide personalized guidance and treatment options to help you achieve clearer skin.

What kinds of professional treatments are there to treat teen acne? 

There are several professional treatments available for treating teen acne. These treatments are typically provided by dermatologists or skin care professionals and are tailored to the severity of the acne and individual skin needs. Here are some common professional treatments for teen acne:

  1. Topical Prescription Medications: Topical Retinoids: These are derivatives of vitamin A that help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and promote skin cell turnover. Topical Antibiotics: Antibiotic creams or gels can help control bacterial growth on the skin, reducing inflammation and acne lesions.
  2. Oral Prescription Medications: Oral Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be prescribed to target bacteria and inflammation from within the body. They are often used for moderate to severe acne. Oral Contraceptives: For females, certain birth control pills can help regulate hormones and reduce acne in some cases.
  3. Chemical Peels: Chemical peels involve applying a solution to the skin that exfoliates the top layer, promoting cell turnover and helping to unclog pores. They can also reduce the appearance of acne scars.
  4. Microdermabrasion: Is a non-invasive procedure that exfoliates the skin’s surface using a handheld device, helping to remove dead skin cells and improve the overall texture of the skin. 
  5. Laser and Light Therapies: Laser Therapy: Lasers can target bacteria and inflammation, as well as stimulate collagen production to improve the appearance of acne scars. LED or Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): LED light uses different colours including blue light to kill surface bacteria. Photodynamic therapy involves applying a photosensitizing solution to the skin, followed by exposure to light, which can target and reduce oil production and bacteria.
  6. Professional Skin Care Treatments: Skin care clinics  offer specialized facials and treatments designed to target acne-prone skin. These can include deep cleansing, exfoliation, extractions and drainage. The acne facials will also include extractions of whiteheads and blackheads, to  improve the appearance of the skin and prevent further breakouts.
  7. Acne Scar Treatments: In our professional opinion nothing treats acne scars, young or old, like the Potenza Microneedling system!
  8. Corticosteroid Injections: Dermatologists or doctors can inject corticosteroids directly into large, painful cysts to reduce inflammation and promote healing. 

A word about Accutane. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a powerful oral medication used for severe, cystic acne. It targets the underlying causes of acne and can provide long-lasting results, but it comes with potential side effects and requires close medical monitoring. Do your research! And check out info on past lawsuits! Let’s put it this way, I would never want my child to take it.  

It’s important to consult with a professional before undergoing any professional acne treatments. They can assess your skin, determine the severity of your acne, and recommend the most suitable treatment plan based on your individual needs, indications and preferences. Keep in mind that consistency and patience are key when it comes to treating acne, as results may take time to become noticeable.

What are top 5 Home treatment to help fix acne

As of my last update of January 2021, here are five effective at-home treatment steps you can take to help manage and improve acne. Please note that individual results may vary, and it’s important to consult with a professional before starting any new skin care routine, especially if you have severe or persistent acne.

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser twice a day (morning and night) to keep your skin clean without over-drying it. Avoid harsh scrubbing or over-cleansing, as this can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  2. Topical Treatments: Look for topical acne treatments with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid. These ingredients can help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and promote exfoliation. Start with a lower concentration to minimize irritation and gradually increase if needed.
  3. Oil-Free Moisturization: Even if you have oily skin, it’s important to moisturize with an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer. Keeping your skin hydrated can help maintain its barrier function and prevent excessive oil production.
  4. Spot Treatment: For individual acne lesions, consider using a targeted spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Apply a thin layer directly onto the blemish to help reduce its size and redness.
  5. Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, especially if you’re using acne treatments that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV damage and prevents post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Check out our June Blog Post on Suncare

Remember that consistency is key when it comes to skin care. It may take several weeks to notice significant improvement in your acne. If your acne is severe, persistent, or causing distress, it’s important to seek guidance from a professional. A dermatologist can be difficult to get an appointment with as you need a doctor’s referral and waitlists can be long so start with a skin care clinic with experienced aestheticians who work with acne. They can provide personalized recommendations and put together a program. We treat grades 1-3 acne and will recommend a dermatologist for grade 3.5 or higher as this generally requires medication which a dermatologist can prescribe. 

Please keep in mind that there may have been advancements and improvements in acne treatment options since my last update in 2021. At Derma Bright Clinic we now offer the Potenza, an effective microneedling treatment for both active and acne and acne scars. Always consult with a professional for the most up-to-date and tailored advice based on your specific situation.

What happens when you do not treat active acne

If you do not treat active acne, several potential outcomes can occur, ranging from mild to more severe consequences. It’s important to address acne to prevent complications and minimize its impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Here are some potential consequences of not treating active acne:

  1. Worsening of Acne: Without treatment, acne can often worsen and lead to the development of more pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. This can result in an increase in the number and severity of lesions on your skin.
  2. Scarring: Untreated or improperly managed acne lesions can cause scarring. Inflammatory acne lesions, such as cysts and nodules, are more likely to leave scars. These scars can be permanent and may require more invasive treatments like microneedling to improve their appearance. 
  3. Hyperpigmentation: Acne can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is darkening of the skin in areas where acne lesions have healed. This can persist even after the active acne has resolved and may take time to fade.
  4. Psychological Impact: Acne can have a significant impact on a person’s self-esteem, body image, and mental well-being. Not treating acne may lead to emotional distress, anxiety, and a negative self-perception.
  5. Spread of Bacteria: Untreated acne can allow the bacteria responsible for acne, such as Propionibacterium acnes, to spread and proliferate. This can lead to more widespread inflammation and the development of new lesions.
  6. Pain and Discomfort: Inflamed and cystic acne can be painful and uncomfortable. Not treating these lesions can prolong your discomfort and potentially lead to infections.
  7. Quality of Life: Acne can interfere with your daily life and activities. It may affect your social interactions, relationships, and overall quality of life if left untreated.
  8. Chronic Inflammation: Long-term inflammation caused by untreated acne can contribute to skin damage and premature aging. It may also make your skin more susceptible to other skin conditions.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with acne is different. Some people may have mild and manageable acne that doesn’t cause significant issues, while others may experience more severe forms of acne that require prompt and effective treatment. If you have acne, it’s advisable to seek advice from an experienced aesthetician or dermatologist to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Treating acne early and effectively can help minimize its impact and prevent potential complications.

What is the best skincare to use to treat teen acne

The best skin care routine to treat teen acne involves a combination of gentle cleansing, targeted treatments, oil control, and proper moisturization. Here’s a step-by-step guide to an effective skin care routine for treating teen acne:

  1. Cleansing: Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser once to twice a day (morning and/or night) to remove dirt, oil, and impurities without over-drying the skin. Avoid harsh scrubbing or abrasive cleansers, as they can irritate the skin and worsen acne.
  2. Treatment: Use and apply an over-the-counter acne treatment with active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide (2.5%-5%), salicylic acid (0.5%-2%), or glycolic acid (2%-5%). Start with a lower concentration and gradually increase if your skin tolerates it. Apply the treatment to affected areas or as directed.
  3. Moisturization: Even if you have oily skin, use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to maintain the skin’s hydration and barrier function. Look for a moisturizer that is labeled “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic” to prevent clogging pores.
  4. Sun Protection: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning, even on cloudy days. Acne treatments can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.Choose a clean sunscreen that is labeled “oil-free” and non-comedogenic to avoid exacerbating acne.
  5. Spot Treatment: For individual acne lesions, consider using a targeted spot treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Apply a thin layer directly onto the blemish. 
  6. Weekly Exfoliation (1-2 times a week):Use a gentle exfoliating product, such as a mild scrub or a chemical exfoliant with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, to help remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
  7. Consistency and Patience: Stick to your skincare routine consistently and be patient. It can take several weeks to see noticeable improvements in your acne.

Remember that each person’s skin is unique, so it’s important to tailor your skincare routine to your specific needs. If your acne is severe or persistent, consider consulting a skin care professional for personalized recommendations or a dermatologist if a prescription is needed.

Additionally, avoid using multiple harsh or active products at once, as this can lead to irritation and worsen your skin’s condition. Slowly introduce new products and monitor how your skin responds. If you experience excessive irritation or dryness, adjust your routine accordingly.

What is the difference between teen and adult acne

Teen and adult acne share many similarities in terms of causes and treatments, but there are also some key differences in terms of age of onset, hormone levels, and patterns of occurrence. Here’s a comparison between teen and adult acne:

Teen Acne

  1. Age of Onset: Teen acne typically begins during puberty, usually around the ages of 12 to 18. It is most common during the teenage years but can start earlier or later. 
  2. Hormonal Influence: Hormonal changes during puberty, specifically the increase in androgen (male hormone) production, are the primary triggers for teen acne. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, leading to clogged pores and acne formation.
  3. Affected Areas: Teen acne often appears on the forehead, nose, and chin (T-zone) as well as the cheeks. It tends to be more widespread and can involve a variety of lesion types, including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, and, in some cases, cysts.
  4. Cyclic Nature: Teen acne can be cyclic, with flare-ups during certain times of the month due to hormonal fluctuations.
  5. Natural Resolution: In many cases, teen acne may naturally improve and subside as hormone levels stabilize with age. However, proper treatment and skin care can help manage and prevent scarring.

Adult Acne

  1. Age of Onset: Adult acne refers to acne that develops in individuals beyond their teenage years. It can begin in the early twenties and persist well into adulthood.
  2. Hormonal Factors: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those related to menstruation, pregnancy, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can contribute to adult acne. However, hormonal influences are generally less prominent compared to teen acne.
  3. Affected Areas: Adult acne commonly appears on the lower face, jawline, neck, and chin. Lesions may include inflammatory papules, pustules, and occasionally deeper nodules.
  4. Non-Hormonal Triggers: Adult acne can also be triggered or exacerbated by factors such as stress, medications, cosmetics, lifestyle, and dietary choices.
  5. Persistent and Recurrent: Adult acne is more likely to be persistent and less likely to “outgrow” on its own. It can be a long-term concern and may require ongoing management.
  6. Risk of Scarring: Since adult skin is less elastic and more prone to scarring than teenage skin, adult acne lesions have a higher potential to cause lasting scars.

It’s important to note that while these differences provide a general overview, every individual’s experience with acne is unique. Regardless of age, effective treatment for acne involves a combination of proper skincare, lifestyle adjustments, and, if necessary, consultation with a skin care professional to develop a tailored treatment plan.

What kinds of foods should a person avoid if they have teen acne

While the direct link between diet and acne is still a topic of ongoing research and debate, some studies suggest that certain dietary factors may influence acne development, particularly in some individuals. It’s important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently, and what triggers acne for one person may not affect another. If you’re concerned about acne and diet, you can consider making some adjustments to your eating habits. Here are some potential foods to consider reducing or avoiding:

  1. High-Glycemic Index Foods: Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, potentially leading to increased insulin production and hormonal fluctuations, which might contribute to acne. Examples of high-GI foods include sugary snacks, processed foods, white bread, sugary cereals, and sugary beverages.
  2. Dairy Products: Some studies have suggested a possible association between dairy consumption and acne, particularly skim milk. Dairy products contain hormones that may influence skin health. If you suspect dairy might be affecting your acne, you could try reducing your dairy intake to see if there’s any improvement.
  3. Saturated and Trans Fats: Diets high in saturated and trans fats, often found in fried foods, fast food, and processed snacks, may contribute to inflammation in the body, potentially exacerbating acne.
  4. Fast Food, Processed and Junk Food: Highly processed and fast foods often contain unhealthy fats, high levels of salt, and additives that might impact skin health and overall well-being.
  5. Sugary Foods and Beverages: High sugar intake can lead to insulin spikes, which might affect hormones and inflammation in the body. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods, sugary beverages, and sugary snacks.
  6. Excessive Iodine: Some studies have suggested a link between high iodine intake (commonly found in iodized salt and seafood) and acne in certain individuals. However, iodine intake from a balanced diet is generally not a concern for most people.
  7. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods may dilate blood vessels and potentially contribute to facial flushing, which might worsen acne in some individuals.
  8. Chocolate: The relationship between chocolate and acne is still debated, but some people may find that consuming large amounts of chocolate can exacerbate their acne. Moderation is key if you suspect chocolate might be a trigger.

Remember, the impact of diet on acne can vary greatly from person to person. It’s a good idea to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. If you suspect that certain foods might be contributing to your acne, consider keeping a food diary to track your diet and any potential changes in your skin’s condition. If you’re unsure, consulting with a registered nutritionist or dietitian can provide personalized guidance based on your individual situation.

Why get a teen facial for teen acne

A teen facial, also known as an acne facial or a deep-cleansing facial, is a skin care treatment specifically designed to address the unique needs of teenage skin, including acne-prone skin. Teen facials can offer several potential benefits for individuals dealing with teen acne:

  1. Expert Assessment: When you receive a teen facial, a licensed esthetician or skin care professional can assess your skin’s condition and tailor the treatment to your specific needs. They can provide personalized recommendations for your skincare routine and suggest products that are suitable for your skin type.
  2. Deep Cleansing: Teen facials typically involve thorough cleansing to remove excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the skin. This helps to unclog pores and reduce the risk of acne breakouts.
  3. Exfoliation: Exfoliation is an important step in a teen facial. It helps to remove dead skin cells, which can contribute to clogged pores and acne. Exfoliation can also improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin. Exfoliation can be manual using an agent or mechanical such as microdermabrasion.
  4. Extraction: An esthetician can perform gentle manual extractions to remove blackheads and whiteheads. Proper extraction can help prevent further inflammation and reduce the risk of scarring.
  5. Customized Treatments: Depending on your skin’s needs, a teen facial may include the use of products with active ingredients like salicylic acid, which can help control excess oil and exfoliate the skin.
  6. Hydration: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin. A teen facial can include the application of masks or moisturizers suitable for acne-prone skin, helping to balance oil production and prevent dryness.
  7. Technology: The skin care professional may use technology such as LED light, oxygen, high frequency or microdermabrasion during the treatment. 
  8. Education: During a teen facial, you can learn about proper skin care techniques, how to manage acne, and how to choose the right products for your skin type. This education empowers you to take better care of your skin at home.
  9. Relaxation and Self-Care: Getting a teen facial can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Self-care practices can have positive effects on stress levels, which can indirectly impact skin health.

It’s important to note that while a teen facial can provide benefits, it might not be a one-time solution for severe or persistent acne. Consistency with a proper skincare routine and, if necessary, consultation with a skin care professional is an important step in managing acne effectively. Additionally, if you’re considering getting a teen facial, be sure to choose a reputable skin care clinic with professional staff who are experienced in treating teenage skin and acne.

What to look for when searching for a professional skin care clinic

When searching for a professional skin care clinic, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure that you receive safe, effective, and personalized treatments for your skin’s needs. Here are some key things to look for when selecting a skincare clinic:

  1. Qualified and Licensed Professionals: Ensure that the clinic employs licensed and certified skincare professionals, such as licensed estheticians, or certified skin care specialists. These professionals should have the appropriate education and training to provide skincare treatments.
  2. Reputation and Reviews: Research the clinic’s reputation by reading reviews from previous clients. Look for testimonials and before-and-after photos to gauge the quality of their services and the results they achieve.
  3. Hygiene and Cleanliness: A reputable skin care clinic should maintain a clean and sanitary environment. Make sure the clinic follows proper hygiene and sterilization practices to prevent the risk of infection.
  4. Range of Services: Consider what specific skin care services the clinic offers. Look for a clinic that provides a wide range of treatments to address various skin concerns, including acne, aging, pigmentation, laser, peels and more.
  5. Customized Treatments: Choose a clinic that offers personalized treatment plans based on your skin’s needs and concerns. Avoid clinics that provide a one-size-fits-all approach to skincare.
  6. Consultations: A reputable clinic should offer thorough consultations before recommending any treatments. During the consultation, the skin care professional should assess your skin, discuss your concerns and goals, and provide recommendations and pricing tailored to your needs.
  7. Use of High-Quality Products and Equipment: Inquire about the skincare products and equipment used in the clinic. Reputable clinics use high-quality, clinically tested products and modern equipment to ensure the safety and efficacy of their treatments.
  8. Transparency and Communication: The clinic staff should be transparent about the treatments they offer, including the potential benefits, risks, and any potential side effects. They should be willing to answer your questions and provide clear information.
  9. Licensing and Accreditation: Verify that the clinic is properly licensed and adheres to industry standards. Accreditation from relevant skincare or medical organizations can also indicate a higher level of professionalism. 
  10. Location and Accessibility: Consider the clinic’s location and accessibility. Choose a clinic that is convenient for you to reach and fits into your schedule.
  11. Cost and Pricing: While cost should not be the sole factor, it’s important to understand the pricing structure and any additional costs associated with the treatments. Make sure you’re aware of the total cost before committing to any services. Teen Facials can generally range from $100-$140 with packages or memberships usually available.
  12. Client Education: Look for a clinic that prioritizes client education and provides information on proper skincare routines, post-treatment care, and maintenance.

By carefully considering these factors and doing thorough research, you can select a reputable skin care clinic that aligns with your needs and ensures the best possible care for your skin.

Derma Bright Clinic has been in business since 2012 and providing Teen and Acne Facials since 2013. We have many reviews on Google from satisfied clients in the treatment of acne cases. 

Below is a recent success story involving one of our happy clients, Mariana. 

Video testimonial from Mariana on her Acne Treatment: 

If you suffer with acne, come by Derma Bright Clinic for a free consultation to see how we can help you. We offer a number of acne treatments including Teen and Acne Facials, 1540 Acne Scar treatment, Peels and the Potenza Microneedling treatment. At Derma Bright Clinic we are refining skin care to bring out your best and brightest skin! 

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