Summer is the time of year when the skin is most exposed, and acne becomes a more significant source of concern. In addition to being a disorder that challenges the self-esteem and peace of mind of those affected, acne can also cause lesions that turn into dark spots or scars.
Although it can persist throughout adulthood, acne is mainly associated with adolescence. We talked about its causes and potential remedies with some specialists.
Do hormones cause acne in young skin?
Acne is an inflammation of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland – the so-called “pilosebaceous unit.” It can manifest with:
- Blackheads (comedones);
- Cysts and nodules (if it affects the deeper layers of the skin).
While it is important to consider the influence of hereditary traits, acne is very common at a young age because it is closely dependent on the action of hormones.
During adolescence, the natural growth process highly stimulates the production of androgenic hormones, thus inducing the sebaceous glands to produce sebum. This oily secretion normally protects the skin by becoming a part of the skin’s hydrolipid film.
However, when sebum is overproduced, seborrhea occurs. When associated with other conditions, such as keratinization of the hair follicle and the presence of a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes, blackheads develop, which may become papules and pustules.
Juvenile acne and how to treat it
According to experts, if there is reason to believe that a hormonal imbalance might be causing acne in girls and young women, one may conduct targeted examinations in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and possibly proceed with personalized treatment.
In this case, it is necessary to consult with a specialist since hormonal imbalances and acne are often treated with specific contraceptive pills. This requires the evaluation of a dermatologist and the collaboration with a gynecologist, who will issue the prescription once any side effects are ruled out.
In other cases, however, treatment may include the use of:
- Topical creams with antibiotic or keratolytic action;
- Retinoids (derived from vitamin A).
One retinoid in particular, isotretinoin, can be taken orally in more challenging cases but only under strict medical supervision.
Finally, in cases where acne affects the superficial part of the epidermis, peeling treatments can be performed in outpatient clinics. These smooth the affected areas by applying an acid solution – salicylic or pyruvic acid – onto them. Overall, avoiding do-it-yourself remedies is always recommended, as they may worsen the problem rather than improve the situation.