A commonsense approach clears the way to a sparkling skin for teenagers. The excitement of becoming a teenager is often dampened by skin problems.
The most usual form is acne vulgaris. It causes soreness, papules, pustules, cysts and scarring and can affect the back, face and shoulders. Before fighting acne spots, you must know exactly what problem your skin has.
During adolescence, the glands become active, secreting more hormones than usual. The increase in these hormones stimulates the oil (sebaceous) glands of your skin, producing too much oil.
Most of the oil reaches the surface (sometimes you wake up to find your skin looks shiny), but some accumulates in the follicle, causing blockages which result in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and acne.
These are a solid plug of oil lodged at the opening of the follicle. Many doctors claim the dark color is due to a chemical change after exposure to the air. Blackheads should not be removed with fingers but with proper steaming to open the pores first.
Nearly all young people suffer from acne during their teens. This is a combination of blackheads, pimples, and due to infection in clogged pores, boil-like blemishes and hard cysts.
Major factors in the development of acne are believed to be:
- Increased levels of sebum (fats and waxes responsible for the lubrication of the skin) brought on by hormone changes.
- Obstruction of the hair shaft duct. Acne begins when the cells of the lower part of the shaft become thicker and stick together to move up and plug the duct.
- Bacterial infection.
- Onset of inflammation caused by bacteria which create fatty acids in the sebum which are highly irritating to the tissue of the hair shaft which they weaken.
- Malnutrition and nutritional deficiency.
- Menstrual irregularity.
- Allergies to certain foods: sugars, chocolate, milk, nuts, soft drinks and fats. Some medications may aggravate acne.
Caring for teenage skin isn’t expensive. Real care comes cheaply with a commonsense approach to cleansing, diet and exercise.
Proper cleansing and nourishing are imperative for good skin:
- Keeping your skin scrupulously clean helps control the excess oil.
- Splash your face as often as possible with water to cleanse off surface dirt.
- Washing your face with water and a medicated or anti-acne soap, is the best way to keep problem skin clean. Do this twice a day.
- After rinsing in warm (not hot) water, splash with cool water and follow with a toner or astringent to stimulate circulation, and to close the pores.
- A clay-based mask applied once a week is good as the clay absorbs surface oil, stimulates the skin and removes dead cells.
Moisturizing is important with blemished skin:
- Moisture needs to be replenished around the eyes, a sensitive area that will dry out and line quickly if care is not taken.
- Dab on eye cream each day but be careful not to touch the cheeks.
- If blemishes appear only in the oily T-section of the face then moisturize down along the sides of the face and the neck.
Vitamin and mineral for healthy skin:
- Essentially, pimple treatment should aim at removing the cells and built-up sebum blocking the hair shaft duct, controlling the bacteria associated with inflammation and producing results rapidly and reliably.
- Recent studies have shown that, taking some mineral and vitamin supplements and avoiding certain foods may help. Some acne sufferers may be deficient in the mineral selenium, obtained from certain forms of garlic. Patients improved after taking less than 0.5 milligrams of selenium together with 20 units of vitamin E in an overseas experiment.
- A Swedish study has also found acne patients have a low-level of vitamin A and zinc. Many nutritionists believe the body is robbed of zinc through diets high in refined sugars.
Good care of teenage skin should be coupled with a healthy diet. Go easy on salt and shellfish as these are thought to aggravate pimples, as can chocolate, fatty or fried foods and too much sugar.
If you want clean skin you must feed it clean food:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, preferably raw to get all the vitamins, minerals and roughage.
- The yellow fruits and vegetables which contain vitamin A: papaws, carrots, pumpkin, bananas, peaches and apricots as well as egg yolks, chicken and liver.
- Grain foods: rice, whole grain breads provide nutrition and fiber.
- Drinking about six to eight glasses of water each day cleanses the body system.
These habits will not only help your skin but will set you into good eating patterns for the rest of your life.