Hormones, excess oil, accumulation of dead skin, bacteria and genetics are the main causes of acne, regardless of age. However, teens do have some triggers that are unique to them.
Teen acne is primarily driven by the surge in hormones that occurs with the changing body chemistry involved in growing up or puberty. These higher than normal testosterone levels cause excess oil production and inflammation, which make acne worse.
Genes and Teen Skin
It’s important that teens not blame themselves or feel they are breaking out because they are dirty. There is a gene that predisposes certain people to develop acne. During puberty, this gene aggravates the increase in hormones and is easily activated by foods and other acne triggers.
Teen Acne Triggers
For example, teens spend more time on their phones and listening to music via headphones than any other age group. They often experience acne breakouts where phones and headphones make contact with the skin. These devices trap sweat, oil and debris and create a perfect breeding ground for breakouts. We suggest cleaning phones and headphones regularly and holding the phone away from the face to avoid triggering additional breakouts.
Additional culprits include backpacks, bike helmets and restrictive athletic gear such as shoulder pads used by football players.
Stress and Teen Skin
Stress concerning what their peers may think and fear of rejection can also trigger more breakouts for teens; stress induces even more oil production. Staying calm and remembering that peers and acquaintances break out too can help keep stress-induced breakouts at bay. One thing is for sure, everyone is unique, but breakouts are not.