Juvenile Acne: What It is and How to Treat It

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It is estimated that around 80% of young people between the ages of 12 and 24 have to deal with blackheads, pimples and juvenile acne: although it is a very common problem, acne should not be underestimated, as it can leave scars on the skin and also cause psychological consequences. Treating juvenile acne is possible, but different strategies must be adopted.

Juvenile acne is a skin disorder that affects a large number of young people and adolescents. It is a chronic inflammatory disease – also called “ vulgar acne ” ( acne vulgaris ) – which affects the hair follicle and sebaceous glands, and which causes mild or severe rashes to appear on the skin.

Although this is a very frequent problem, its seriousness should not be underestimated . In fact, juvenile acne occurs more often on the face, and can cause scars which, in the long run, can undermine a person’s self -esteem .

Furthermore, even managing acne itself can cause a lot of stress , exacerbating the symptoms and further aggravating the situation.

In this article you will find out how to recognize acne , what are the symptoms that characterize this skin disorder and how to treat juvenile acne effectively. First, let’s learn to recognize the problem.

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Juvenile Acne: Symptoms

Acne generally manifests itself with the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads (called “comedones”), papules (small raised pink lesions) and pustules (pink bumps with pus formation). In addition to these skin rashes, there are also other characteristic symptoms, such as:

  • Excess sebum production , caused by an overactivity of the sebaceous glands
  • Redness of the skin : symptom not to be confused with the typical redness of acne rosacea
  • Feeling of itching
  • Formation of lumps or cysts on the skin : these are pus-filled lesions that can cause pain and leave scars (cystic acne), even permanent.

Sometimes, acne can also manifest itself in more serious forms, causing extra-cutaneous symptoms , such as fever, muscle and joint pain, tiredness, asthenia. In this case we speak of ” acne fulminans “, a disorder that should not be underestimated and that requires timely medical treatment.

Juvenile Acne on the Back

When we think of acne, we tend to assume that pimples , blackheads and papules are only found on the face.

In fact, although the face is the most affected part of the body by this problem, the symptoms can also appear on the chest and upper shoulders and back .

Indeed, in these areas there is a greater concentration of sebaceous glands . Like facial acne, back acne can also be treated.

Your doctor may advise you to avoid wearing tight clothing, as they can cause chafing on your skin . Furthermore, it will be important to take a shower after sweating and apply topical treatments or take oral medicines , on the advice of the dermatologist.

The Causes of Juvenile Acne

What causes juvenile acne? This skin disorder is due to an overactivity of the sebaceous glands that surround the follicles, and a consequent inflammation of the skin . This leads to an excessive production of sebum , a substance which under normal conditions serves to protect the skin. If present in excess, however, the sebum tends to deposit on the follicles, blocking them.

This phenomenon will pave the way for an uncontrolled proliferation of bacteria that normally live on the skin, which can become infected and inflamed. This is where the comedones, papules and pustules typical of acne originate.

There are a number of factors that can trigger or aggravate acne. Among these are:

  • Taking medications such as antidepressants and cortisone
  • Use of cosmetics unsuitable for your skin type
  • Air pollution
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Illnesses: Illnesses such as polycystic ovary syndrome , conditions of excessive stress, and metabolic disorders can cause or exacerbate juvenile acne.

Acne Myths Debunked

Although it is a very common disease – it is believed that it affects about 80% of teenagers – there are still many myths and clichés that have no scientific basis around juvenile acne.

Here are which are the most common

To Get Rid of Acne You Have to Pop Pimples

In fact, popping pimples improperly or using tools that aren’t perfectly clean could aggravate the problem, even leaving permanent scars .

People With Acne Need to Wash Their Face More Often

Another false myth is that acne is caused by insufficient hygiene and skin care. Actually washing your face (or acne affected areas) more than 2 times a day could even aggravate the situation.

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Juvenile Acne: How Long Does it Last?

How long does juvenile acne last ? As anticipated, it is estimated that this disease affects about 80% of adolescents, in a more or less serious form.

Usually the first symptoms of acne begin to be noticed at 12 years of age , or around the time puberty begins, but they could also appear at 16 or 18 years of age.

The disorder can last up to 20-25 years of age in boys (male juvenile acne), while in girls juvenile acne tends to have a longer duration, and last up to 30-40 years of age .


In order for you to get a proper diagnosis of juvenile acne, you will need to go to a dermatologist . Your doctor will examine the lesions on your skin and check for excess oil. Only after the diagnosis and after determining the cause of the problem, it will be possible to establish a personalized and targeted treatment .

Remember that a youth acne product or cream that worked well on someone you know won’t necessarily have the same effect on your skin.

It is good to establish a personalized treatment based on the specific situation, avoiding resorting to do-it-yourself or word of mouth.

Juvenile Acne: Cure

How do you treat juvenile acne? There are numerous treatments available , and they must be evaluated on the basis of the characteristics and severity of the problem. Acne can be treated with medications (over-the-counter or prescription), topically applied products, or oral medications.

The following are some of the top acne remedies:

  • Skin application therapies , with products such as gels, creams for juvenile acne and other treatments aimed at stimulating cell turnover through exfoliation.
  • Oral antibiotics , useful for inhibiting the bacterial proliferation responsible for inflammation and rashes on the skin.
  • Retinoids : these are derivatives of vitamin A that exert exfoliating and anti-acne effects, reducing the appearance of lesions on the skin.
  • Corticosteroid medications , which can reduce skin inflammation.
  • Azelaic Acid : A naturally occurring acid, capable of exerting antibacterial effects and helping regulate excess sebum production. In addition to treating acne, azelaic acid is used to treat melasma and prevent hair loss .
  • Oral contraceptives : In girls and women whose acne is caused by hormonal imbalances , treatment with the contraceptive pill may be recommended.

Non-pharmacological treatments also include :

  • Peeling , or treatments capable of exfoliating and removing the most superficial layer of the skin using products such as glycolic acid or microgranules.
  • Photodynamic therapy , which can promote cell turnover, reduce inflammation, and treat acne scars.

Grandma’s Remedies for Juvenile Acne

Are there any natural remedies against juvenile acne ? What would our grandmothers have advised to combat this problem?

It being understood that the consultation of a dermatologist is always essential in case of acne and other skin pathologies, it is possible to apply some natural products to alleviate the symptoms of acne.

Among these is Tea Tree oil , an essential oil with proverbial antibacterial properties , capable of purifying the skin and acting on acne lesions. From the front of natural remedies we can also resort to clay masks , with an astringent and purifying effect.

To make a homemade scrub, however, you could combine honey and sugar in a small bowl, mix the two ingredients and massage the scrub on the skin with delicate circular movements for about thirty seconds.

We remind you that these, as well as other natural remedies, should be adopted only after asking your dermatologist for advice.

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Acne Management and Prevention Tips

If you’re struggling with juvenile acne, drug therapy alone or skin treatments alone won’t be enough to keep the problem at bay. It is important to adopt proper skin hygiene and a healthy lifestyle . Read about some strategies and tips to manage acne and reduce its symptoms:

  • Wash your face (or acne-affected areas) with warm water no more than 2 times a day, using a mild , non-foaming acne cleanser .
  • Do not squeeze pimples and blackheads: you could cause unsightly scars and aggravate inflammation
  • Choose non-comedogenic creams and cosmetics , meaning that they don’t cause further obstruction of the pores and the consequent appearance of pimples and black or whiteheads.
  • Learn to manage stress : this feeling, in fact, can aggravate the problem of acne.
  • Apply an oil-free and protective sunscreen : often the sun’s rays can aggravate the problem of acne
  • In the evening, remove make-up well to free and purify the pores of the skin
  • Undergo regular check-ups by the dermatologist , especially if, despite the treatments, the problem does not improve or if it gets worse.

Can Diet Help Cure Acne?

Although diet is not considered a direct cause of acne, it is true that following an unbalanced and incorrect diet can exacerbate its symptoms, causing a greater formation of lesions, papules and comedones. Many experts recommend following a Mediterranean diet for acne . In general, it has been noted that reducing the consumption of sugars, dairy products, alcohol, fatty foods and carbohydrates can reduce the extent of the problem.

Still on the subject of anti-acne nutrition , foods such as:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • White meat
  • Fish
  • Whole grains.

In general, it will be necessary to prefer those foods that provide beneficial substances for the skin , such as minerals (zinc and selenium), vitamins (especially vitamin A, C and vitamin E), omega-3 and antioxidants.

As for foods with a high glycemic index , it seems that these can increase the acne problem, as they increase the release of insulin (hyperinsulinemia), which in turn can trigger an increased production of sebum by the sebaceous glands, and resulting in an increase in acne symptoms.

In all cases, we advise you not to exclude entire food categories without having first evaluated what to do with the help of a dermatologist or nutritionist.

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