Acne can be an uncomfortable problem at any age, but teens are especially vulnerable to developing this skin condition. In fact, about 85% of all teenagers will experience acne, some starting as early as eleven years old. Facial breakouts are the most noticeable, but acne an also affect the backs and chests of some teens.

Instead of accepting acne as destiny, here are some tips for combating the condition:


Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of products exist for treating acne. Not all of them are equally effective, and some work better for some people than others, depending on skin type, genetics, and other factors.

Most acne medications work through reducing the oiliness of skin, unclogging pores, or killing bacteria. Some acne sufferers may also benefit from hormone-based medications, like oral contraceptives or androgen blockers. Which type is needed depends on the individual, plus more than one may be required.

Popular active ingredients in acne-fighting medications include: benzoyl peroxide (unclogs), salicylic acid (reduces oil), clindamycin or erythromycin (kills bacteria), and azelaic acid (kills bacteria and unclogs). Most acne medication includes some form or these or closely related chemicals.

When selecting acne treatments, it’s a good idea to do some research on individual products first to determine their safety and effectiveness. Online reviews can be a great place to start. Always use products as directed.


Percentage of Teens that Suffer from Acne

Number Americans Affected by Acne Each Year (Millions)


Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in treating skin conditions. They can prescribe stronger version of the medications described above, especially for teens who have severe acne. These medications generally require a prescription and have to be filled at a pharmacy, but their greater potency and effectiveness generally make it worth it.

Even better, dermatologists can help determine what’s causing or exacerbating the acne and work to prevent or lessen future outbreaks. Some teens have particular triggers that cause outbreaks, including food allergies or sensitivities and stress, that dermatologists can figure out and help manage. They can also help prevent scarring caused by severe acne.

Seeing a dermatologist may be the most helpful thing teens suffering from acne can be, not just because of the improved treatment options, but also the wealth of useful information they can provide for managing the condition on a day-to-day basis.

Home Remedies

Many people swear by home remedies for acne, but in general, they should be approached with caution and common sense. Some may actually be harmful or make breakouts worse. Thankfully, some home remedies out there have stood the test of time.

Apple cider vinegar applied to the skin is one of them. Like some acne medications, it works by killing acne-causing bacteria and as a mild astringent. Unlike antibiotics, however, it has fewer unwanted side effects and is generally considered a more natural way to care for skin.

Tea tree oil is popular as well. It kills bacteria like apple cider vinegar, but also does a good job unclogging pores and getting rid of dead skin cells to promote overall skin health. It can be potent stuff, so be sure to follow directions for its use.

Using steam is another way to help manage acne. The hot, moist air opens pores, allowing for a deeper cleaning and preventing clogging. Steam should be followed with a mild astringent to make the most of the experience. Lemon juice is one natural astringent that’s often recommended.

Combining the Ingredients

This simple recipe will make enough for one detox bath. Add one cup each of the three different salts and baking soda. Then, stir in two cups of the bentonite clay. Pour the bowl of ingredients in a bath of running hot water. Cold water or tepid water won’t work for this bath. If you want to use some extra essential oils, then add these to the mixture too. Those who have dry skin might want to add milk to the water as well. Dry powdered milk works the best, but fresh coconut milk is also effective.

Preparing for a Detox Bath

It might sound redundant, but it is best to take a quick shower before you soak in a detox bath. The water will rinse away any pollutants or toxins that are on the skin. It will also open up the pores, which will help pull out the toxins faster. Just be sure to not use any harsh soap during this shower because they will add a film of extra toxins that the body will have to work harder to remove.

Relax, Eat Well & Sleep!


Not every tool to fight acne comes from a bottle or plant. Teens should consider making a few small changes to their everyday that can make a much bigger impact in reducing outbreaks. Everyone touches their face, but doing so can transfer bacteria. One way to manage this is through more frequent hand washing or hand sanitizer. It’s especially important to avoid touching outbreaks as this can spread thriving bacteria to other locations.

In the same vein, changing pillowcases more offer can help reduce exposure to bacteria. Cell phones can transfer bacteria as well. Over-washing the face can be a problem too, if a counter-intuitive one. Cleanliness is good, but too much scrubbing can irritate skin, making it more vulnerable to outbreaks. Twice per day is what’s currently recommended.

Picking at zits universally makes them worse, even if they seem smaller after being popped. Picking can cause infections, spread an existing one, or even lead to scarring. All things considered, it’s better to leave acne alone except when applying a treatment.

Sources And Further Reading