Management of Teenage Acne

Dr. Jan Dank, MD, discusses teenage acne triggers and management.

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Dr. Jan Dank, MD, discusses teenage acne triggers and management.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Jan Dank, MD

Duration: 2 minutes, 24 seconds        

Acne is triggered by stress.  

You can get it before your finals, you can get it before the prom, you can get it before a date. Acne is also triggered by illness, and in some people they can find certain foods that trigger acne.

If your acne is about to come to the surface, if you sweat heavily or exercise that may trigger it to come out. Though it’s not the cause of the acne, it is the trigger.  

People focus a lot on diet in acne, and if you’re eating a healthy diet – low carbohydrates, low fat – you’re gonna have a modest effect on your acne.  Unfortunately, there’s no one thing you’re eating in your diet that’s gonna make it go away.  

Some people will find they have triggers of acne, so they’ll eat one food and they’ll break out – but unfortunately, we can’t give advice about triggers that’ll affect everybody because they’re really very individual.  

Keep in mind that acne is not caused by hygiene or dirt. People who have acne wash their face more, not less, than people who don’t have acne. When you wash your face, or anywhere on your skin with acne, wash gently.  

Don’t scrub. If you scrub hard because you’re trying to get the acne out, you’ll have the opposite of the intended effect. What you’ll do is you’ll rupture that clogged pore and create a pimple. It makes you worse, not better. Wash your face gently with a gentle cleanser or an acne cleanser. Do it twice a day, and wash after you exercise to get the sweat off your skin.  

When you’re using topical acne medicines, you need to treat the region you have acne and get acne, not just the spots. It’s quite natural to take the cream or the lotion and put it on the zit. That’s not what you want to do.  

You want to put it in the region you get acne to prevent acne from happening. Another thing people want to do with acne is when they have that zit it’s human nature to pick and poke at it. And that can cause problems. Repeated picking and poking can lead to scarring, and scarring is what a lot of people want to prevent.  

While mild acne may not need the attention of a doctor, if you have more severe acne, painful acne or acne that’s causing scarring – it can be treated. Talk to your parents about getting your acne evaluated by a doctor because it’s a treatable condition that you don’t need to suffer from.

Presenter: Dr. Jan Peter Dank, Dermatologist, Bellingham, WA

Local Practitioners: Dermatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.