The American Academy of Dermatology reports that 85 percent of teens suffer from acne every year. The body naturally produces oil called sebum, which is meant to lubricate your skin and hair. Excess sebum and dead skin cells lead to clogged pores, and, when they get infected, acne results. Hormonal changes are one of the factors leading to the creation of excess sebum, and this is why acne is most common in teenagers. Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent acne, but getting your pre-teen started on a regular cleansing regimen will aid in keeping his skin as healthy as possible through this change.
The regimen should include gentle washing of the face, neck and acne-prone areas twice daily, once in the morning and before going to bed. A mild soap should be used and applied with the fingertips to damp skin. Washing any more than that can irritate the skin and over-dry it, which produces more dead skin cells.
OTC Topical Treatments
Over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are appropriate treatments for pre-teens and teens, according to the Mayo Clinic. The treatments come in the form of creams, lotions, gel or pads. You can also find these ingredients in soaps, though it is not recommended starting your pre-teen with both a treated soap and a secondary treatment. This could lead to over-drying of the skin.
Educate your pre-teen to look for oil-free and non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) products such as suntan lotions and makeup. Applying greasy products to acne-prone skin can contribute to the production of more acne. Products worn throughout the day should always be washed off at night before going to bed. This prevents the products from being ground into the skin and sheets while sleeping.
Many teens end up with facial scars as a result of picking at their acne. Picking only irritates acne further, often spreading and building the infection rather than eliminating it. Even though it is tempting to relieve the pressure from painful deep blemishes, it will only prolong the healing process. In addition, the oil from your hands can add to the excess oils already on your skin.