The school year may be winding down, but the breakouts on the face of your teenager are still going strong. Acne continues to be one of the more misunderstood conditions; people still believe it is caused by eating chocolate, potato chips, greasy foods, and the like.

Uh, no.

Acne is caused by the P.acnes bacteria and the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands are located at the bottom of the hair follicles and are responsible for producing and releasing the oil (sebum) that keeps our skin and hair moist.

The problem is puberty. During puberty the raging hormones coursing through your teenager make the sebaceous glands overproduce oil. This overproduction leads to clogging of the glands. The P.acnes bacteria that live in the glands normally now are locked in, and they get busy, reproducing like rabbits. This tells the body to send white blood cells to the area, leading to inflammation and, you guessed it, a breakout.

At Deschutes, we have a variety of approaches to treating acne, depending on the severity and type. Mild acne can be addressed with products containing these ingredients:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Resorcinol
  • Retin-A
  • Sulfur
  • Azelaic acid

Certain chemical peels can be effective for mild acne, as well.

More severe cases, particularly if it is cystic acne (scarring), demand more aggressive treatment. Dr. Carter may use corticosteroid injections, oral antibiotics, topical antimicrobials, even oral contraceptives to address the excess sebum production and the P.acnes bacteria.

If your teenager is suffering from acne, the days of simply riding it out are over. Today, we can deal with the causes better than when you were a teen. Call us at [primary_phone] and let’s take a look.