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Understanding the Difference: Teenage Acne Versus Adolescent Acne

Teenage Skin and "True Acne"

When puberty starts to happen between the ages of 10 and 17 children's bodies are thrown into a tornado of hormones, which upset all their natural balances that have been settled in for so many years. 

The age of puberty has been getting earlier and earlier for many years now.  Many things have changed over these years that have caused this to happen including, but not only... the persons race and religion, where they originated from and when their mother had her first period. 

Then all of a sudden, they are sprouting hair, changing shape, gaining breasts and in boys uncontrollable erections, vocal changes and as if this wasn't enough to have to cope with. Their skin pores and hair follicles are often producing way too much sebum (oil).

Now, to ask a question? 

What does every one know about teenage oily skin- Its called Acne right?

Wrong! Let me explain... 

True Acne is a totally different condition and there are actually very few cases of True Acne around. It was a bit like everyone used to say, "I've got the flu" when they had a bad cold - until... if they really had the flu... and let me tell you I've had it once and if you have had true flu, you wouldn't get out of bed to pick up a freshly minted wad of £ 50-pound notes, let alone do anything else!

So getting back to this excess oily skin condition which often brings with it SPOTS! Not just a few but quite a lot of different types.

Now if you read my last blog, it mentions the type of spots, how they are caused and can be treated, so just a quick refresh on those types:

Black Heads - yes you can gently squeeze these if you have to - ( make sure your hands are clean and use tissues on your fingers, also be careful not to dig any fingernails into the skin underneath or let a professional do it for you. 

White Heads - Exactly the same as a blackhead except the top of it hasn't come into contact with the air. No digging with dirty fingertips, please. Using a good exfoliator over a couple of weeks will soon see the end of these.

Papules and Pustules - Hard Lumps ( Papules) are under the skin- These are where the follicles have become blocked with oil and then this has been covered over with a layer of dead skin cells. As the oil keeps enlarging the follicle it is stretched and becomes white, a bit like a white head ( Pustule) Full of Puss, this is a definite NO to squeezing, if you imagine all that puss is actually bacteria. That bacteria is going to end up all over your face and what you don't know is that what is squeezed out on the surface is also going to be squeezed out underneath the skin, thus spreading your spot bacteria above and below your skin, giving you loads more spots. and looks as if they want to burst, even though they rarely will.  No digging or picking as these will scar!! 

Nodules and Cysts These are the names for the Papules and Pustules that have gotten very large. At this stage, it is often advisable to see a specialist. Ideally if you can prevent yourself from getting to this stage it would mean that you are most likely to be able to avoid the use of drugs and medicated creams prescribed by a dermatologist.

You could instead have followed a realistic and regular skin care plan from your qualified and professional skin care advisor/aesthetician.

Question- I've heard about Adolescent Acne, how does this differ from Teenage Acne?

Answer- There are many different types of  "True Acne" and "Adolescent Acne" are two different things, whereas Teenage Acne by name isn't true Acne, It's just a part of Adolescent Acne

To be able to get a proper diagnosis of "Acne", it actually has to be diagnosed clinically, either by a doctor or a skin specialist- beauty therapist or aesthetician, where both the client and their spots are examined. The client will have to answer some questions on their health and well-being. Their parent or guardian can do this with them if they are under 16 years old.

Adolescent Acne

Most teenagers will manage to cope with their skin getting spots without seeing a doctor (especially boys for some reason), and if they are lucky they won't even have even to go as far as getting it diagnosed (Getting an actual diagnosis for a condition on their skin such as Adolescent Acne)!

Very occasionally there are cases of Adolescent Acne, that happen in very young children, even below the age that puberty usually starts, say as early as 8 years or younger, in these cases, there will have to be some medical investigations by an endocrine specialist to find out what is happening with the hormonal levels and if there are any signs of "precocious puberty". 


If teenagers and their guardians can be a little bit more educated about how to look after their skin, how important it is to keep the skin really clean and hydrated. So that the bacteria that are on and just under the skin's surface, do not have a chance to grow and multiply. To have regular facials and to look after their skin by not using incorrect, non-comedogenic products or products that are too harsh, that simply strip the skin, exposing it to more pollutants and putting it at greater risk of irritation and dehydration whilst confusing the brain into producing an excess of sebum ( our own skins natural oil which in normal skins usually keeps the skin perfectly moisturised, but in acne, overproduces it causing oily spots).

A couple of really easy things to do are

  • Keep your pillowcases clean! I mean change them daily ( or once used one way, you can turn them over, before changing them the next night ) this way if any bacteria has collected on the pillow case it will be washed out before touching your skin again the next night. 

  • Clean your Mobile Phone at least daily with an anti-bacterial wipe. It's amazing how much bacteria from your face collects on your mobile phone, then you put it back to your ear, on the other side, or later on and so on. Or share it with others.

  • There are also some excellent body washes out there, especially for body acne. When suffering from acne on your back, chest and shoulders, it is very important to ensure that you use a body wash that is specially made for this purpose. You need to ensure that it is non-comedogenic products, make surer it is sulphate free and ideally paraban free.

  • Likewise, if you wash and condition your hair in the shower, these products are going to be running over your face and body. thereby, leaving you two choices. You can wash and condition your hair separately, over say a bathtub, or you can ensure your hair products are Sulphate free, Non-comodegenic, Paraban free.

I know I keep mentioning education, but its not just us we need to teach, we need to reprogram the skins cells by using the right homecare and regularly, that means, cleansing the face and using and applying a good moisturiser to stop the skin from dehydrating, twice daily. Also, look into facials, where the treatment can be deeper, preferably where they can use a medical-grade LED phototherapy. The best phototherapy machines we endorse are from either Dermalux or Celuma LED lights.

Unfortunately, the products that can be bought over the counter are not up to the salon-grade potency.

That is why they can be sold over the counter, without a Beauty Therapist or Aesthetician who has undertaken numerous years of training in Anatomy, Physiology plus Facial Therapy knowledge. This is opposed to a sales assistant who has had product training from the manufacturing company per se. 

For more information, please get in touch by telephone, chat or email.


Adele   :)

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