Acne affects most boys and girls when they hit adolescence. According to Keep Kids Healthy, excessive oil, often produced when hormonal changes in boys first start appearing around the age of 12 or 13, cause pimples. The oil and bacteria mix underneath the skin and create the blemishes and lesions that fall under the general category of acne. Girls can cover up blemishes with make-up, but boys must be extra vigilant in treating acne breakouts to prevent them from becoming worse or leading to scarring.
Many teenage boys believe that if they avoid eating certain kinds of foods, such as greasy potato chips or chocolate, they can prevent or clear up whiteheads and blackheads. However, food does not cause acne. Instead, the blemishes are caused by excessive oil production and improper skin care.
Body Care Tips
Boys who play sports are particularly at risk for developing pimples from wearing hats and other gear that rubs against their skin. Sweating also causes pores to become clogged and break out. Boys should avoid tight hats to prevent forehead breakouts, keep headgear clean and wash skin lightly whenever they remove their hats. Boys should wash their faces twice a day and after playing sports with a mild cleanser. They should avoid touching their faces with dirty hands that could transfer additional oil to the skin.
Over-the-Counter Treatment Timelines
Boys often experience worse acne breakouts than girls because they usually have more oil in their skin. Over-the-counter treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid take longer to work on boys. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, daily use of over-the-counter products can take up to eight weeks to clear acne breakouts. If no considerable improvement is seen after two months, boys should see a dermatologist to receive a prescription-strength cream or to undergo other medical treatments.
Stop Pimple Popping
Popping, squeezing or picking at pimples and blackheads can make acne worse. Boys often think that removing the acne by squeezing out the puss is the quickest way to clear up acne blemishes. In fact, touching the acne lesions causes them to become infected and increases the risk of developing scars. As tempting as it may appear, popping pimples irritates the skin and causes additional breakouts.
Dos and Dont's
Boys who are prone to acne should keep their hair clean and off their faces completely. Boys with long hair or hair that touches their faces should wash their hair every day to prevent breakouts. When oily hair touches the face, it can cause additional pimples. Hair products, such as gel and hair spray also can clog pores and should be avoided.