2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Parent of a teenager who suffers from acne? What do you need to know about this common skin condition to better support your child?
Although it affects nearly one in 10 people, regardless of age, acne is often associated with puberty and adolescence. This period of great upheaval causes the appearance of lesions which, even if they are generally harmless, greatly affect the self-confidence of young adults, which can even go so far as to cause anxiety and depression.
As a parent of a teenager who suffers from acne, you have to be on the lookout for your child's quality of life. Learning more about this very common skin condition will allow you to approach the problem and possible treatments more easily. Here is an overview of the main causes of acne and the cases generally encountered in the clinic.
What is acne?
The skin contains many small holes called pores. Each of these pores contains a follicle which consists of a hair and, at its base, a sebaceous gland which produces an oily substance called sebum. Acne occurs when too much sebum and dead skin cells block the pore. This blockage is the ideal environment for thegrowth of bacteria, resulting in various types of skin lesions.
Does acne only affect the face?
Although most commonly seen on the face, acne can also affect the neck, shoulders and upper back as these areas contain more sebaceous glands.
What causes acne?
The number one risk factor for acne is the hormonal changes that occur during puberty. The body produces more testosterone, which activates the sebaceous glands and causes excess sebum. Mixed with bacteria and dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, this excess gives pimples, literally.
Heredity can also play a role in the development of acne as can other hormonal triggers (menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, for example). Chronic stress, taking certain medications, birth control pills and even applying certain cosmetics can also affect the skin.
What are the main types of acne?
- Whiteheads: Whiteheads are actually skin pores clogged with dead skin cells and sebum, and covered with a thin layer of skin that takes on a whitish color. They are also called closed comedones.
- Blackheads: Blackheads are clogged skin pores, but unlike whiteheads, these are not covered with skin. Their black color comes from oxidation through contact withambient air.
- Papules: When excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria become embedded in the skin, they can lead to inflammation. Small reddish bumps and pimples then appear.
- Pustules: the typical acne pimple. The pustules look a lot like papules, but are filled with pus (a yellowish fluid). This fluid appears when white blood cells travel to the clogged area of skin to clear a bacterial infection there. As the white blood cells die, they collect in the papule and turn it into a pustule.
- Nodules and cysts: These lesions are large, firm and painful. Since they come from the deep layers of the skin, they can leave permanent traces when they disappear. Prompt treatment can help prevent scarring.
Who can suffer from acne?
The short answer: everyone! This is what makes acne one of the most common skin diseases. It should be noted, however, that during adolescence, acne particularly affects the skin of boys, while in adulthood, it is rather women who suffer from it most often.
When to consult?
Better to see a dermatologist as soon as acne begins to affect quality of life. Likewise if it is suspected that a more severe form of acne is involved. Prompt treatment could prevent long-term scarring.
Some swear by it; others avoid it like the plague! To make an informed choice, it is best to be well informed: here are 10 things to know about epidurals
For many women who dread childbirth, water birth provides a gentle and different approach. What do you know about this unique method?
If baby is born prematurely or has a problem at birth, there is reason to be panicked and a little lost. Here are a few things that are good to know and tips to help you
To properly plan for your child's arrival, find out what documents you should have. They offer several advantages for your family
How to navigate the wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription medical acne treatments available? From home remedies to state-of-the-art medications, diets and therapies, the wide variety of treatments to prevent or cure acne is dizzying.