Dermatologist Dr. Tess Mauricio outlines her ultimate guide to treating teen acne.
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Treating Teen Acne Dr. Andrew Ordon: We’ve invited dermatologist Doctor Tess Mauricio to help Diamante here to figure out how to treat her acne. Dr. Tess Mauricio: Diamante, you are not alone. Dr. Andrew Ordon: And acne is not just for kids in puberty. Dr. Tess Mauricio: Not at all. Seventeen million people in the U.S. suffer from acne of all ages and I’ve had acne in my whole life. Hormones definitely play a huge role which is why it’s worst around puberty. Dr. Andrew Ordon: We all have pores on our skin. At the base of those pores, we have sebaceous glands, those glands secrete sebum and that sebum is meant to come up through the pore that lubricate the skin and the hair. But if it gets clogged and is not able to come out either from the sebum or from dry skin, we get that so-called “zit” that gets inflamed underneath the skin; whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. Diamante: Right. Dr. Tess Mauricio: And gets embarrassing like Diamante said. So, I’m going to first take a look at your skin. Diamante: Okay. Dr. Andrew Ordon: We’re going to have an expert take a look here. Dr. Tess Mauricio: That’s right. And so, you have a pimple right there on your nose and here. Diamante: Right. Dr. Tess Mauricio: And a few whiteheads and blackheads. So, I’m actually going to have you guess because there are different types of acne. Go take a look and see which type of acne you think you have. Diamante: I think I’ve been on five at one point but right now, I’m probably at two. Dr. Tess Mauricio: Two is actually a whitehead and you definitely have that but because of these red, what we call inflammatory papules, more inflamed acne lesions, you are actually a three but you’re right, some patients really [Voice Overlap] Dr. Andrew Ordon: Three is okay. Diamante: Yeah. Dr. Andrew Ordon: You’ll be okay. Dr. Tess Mauricio: Our worst stages but there are definitely a lot of things that we can do to help. For over-the-counter products, there are two main ingredients that you would see and the first one is salicylic acid. This is our giant pore model and you have that bluish sebum which is the oil and with puberty, we create more oil and that creates the problem. And then if you look inside actually, you’ll see the little balls, that’s bacteria and they’re all in there. This nylon is sort of a model of the top layer of the skin that ends up creating the plug. So, salicylic acid breaks downs the keratin which keeps those skin cells together, so basically, ungluing them and allowing them to unclog the pore. Diamante: Okay. Dr. Tess Mauricio: And so, that’s really, really important in treating the kind of acne that you have because you have those blackheads and whiteheads. Diamante: Yeah. Dr. Tess Mauricio: And then the other big ingredient that you see both in over- the-counter products and also prescription products which we’ll talk about later is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide kills the bacteria down the pores of those little green balls there. We’re going to try to get into that and this is the model of bezoyl peroxide. You can just kind of imagine, it’s going in there. It’s shrinking the sebum. It’s getting the bacteria. When there’s less bacteria, there’s a less inflammation and there’s less redness and you actually heal. The only thing about benzoyl peroxide is you have to be careful because you can actually get irritated. Diamante: But how do we know which products will make our skin shiny or if they’re going to make them flake or irritated? Dr. Tess Mauricio: If you’re finding that the over-the-counter products are not addressing your problem, you have to start seeing a dermatologist. You have to come to see me because there are a lot more we can offer as far as prescription acne treatment. There are oral antibiotics, so pills that help kill the bacteria. There’s isotretinoin which is a systemic retinoid. There are birth control pills for adult women because hormones are the big problem. I’ve