There are few things more frustrating to a teen than break outs and skin changes that go along with growing up. While some preteens or teens may only have a few bumps on their skin, others will have more noticeable cases of acne. Breakouts can be quite distressing to both the patient and their parents. Thankfully, acne treatments have come a long way over the past couple of decades, and there are great options that allow us to customize a unique treatment plan for each acne patient.
The foundation to successful acne treatment is good basic skin care. Our providers will assess your child's skin and help suggest the type of cleanser to use, whether it be one for sensitive skin or more oil-prone skin. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by a lack of cleansing, nor is it made better by harshly scrubbing the skin (which can actually worsen acne or make it more inflamed). However, gentle cleansing can help prepare the skin to properly receive and respond to acne medications that will be applied. In addition to the type of cleanser used, the method of cleansing is also important. We have great success with both the SpaCells and Clarisonic cleansing units available at our office.
After cleansing and prepping the skin, your dermatology provider can recommend the appropriate topical cream(s) to treat your child's type of acne. Each cream has a specific purpose whether that be decreasing bacteria on the skin, unclogging pores, or calming inflammation. Some patients are prescribed a combination of topicals that work together in different ways to help clear up acne. It is extremely important that your child use the creams faithfully and give them several weeks to work (stopping treatment after one to two weeks because the acne is "not gone" is not appropriate—it can take up to 10-12 weeks for a new regimen to reach its full potential in clearing the skin).
After topical medications are applied, a moisturizer can be used to treat any dryness, and in the morning, a moisturizer with SPF 30 or more should be chosen. Sun protection is incredibly important in the prevention of skin cancer, even in our younger patient population. Also, some of the topical medications (such as Retin A or other similar products) can cause increased sun sensitivity, so it's even more important to protect the skin from the sun's damaging rays while on acne therapy.
After moisturizer/SPF is applied, girls may choose to apply makeup. It is an old myth that makeup should not be worn if one has acne. As long as the products are oil-free or non-comedogenic ("non-pore clogging"), make up can actually help camouflage some of the acne until it is fully treated. Our office offers a wonderful line of Oxygenetix makeup which our fabulous aestheticians can help you select.
In cases with deeper acne lesions, an oral antibiotic pill may be prescribed along with the topical medications. In even more severe cases, a pill known as isotretinoin may be necessary. We also offer chemical peels, photodynamic (Blu light) therapy, deep cleansing facials, and laser therapies. Talk with any of our providers for further information on these medications and treatments. They will help determine which regimen is best for your teen or preteen.
Treating teenage acne is a very common, yet very rewarding part of our practice. While acne is a normal part of growing up, it can be frustrating and can lower self-esteem during these formative teen years. At Marietta Dermatology and Marietta Facial Plastics, we are honored to help you and your teen through this stage in life, offering the best, most current treatments and product lines available.
Should you have questions about acne or should your teen need an appointment to discuss options for their acne treatment, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified providers today!
Shana Boyd Hackworth, MPAS, PA-C is an NCCPA board-certified physician assistant. Shana is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Georgia Academy of Physician Assistants, the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants, and Georgia Dermatology Physician Assistants. Shana earned a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in PA Studies with an emphasis in dermatology from the University of Nebraska.
Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Richwine graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia Honors Program. She then attended the Medical College of Georgia where she earned her M.D. degree and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Richwine is a Board Certified Dermatologist.Dr. Richwine is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and a member of the Atlanta Dermatological Association and the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.
Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center
111 Marble Mill Road NW
Marietta, GA 30060
770-422-1013 | www.mariettaderm.com