Back-to-school stress can trigger acne

acne-stressFor teens, getting rid of embarrassing acne may seem impossible, but Dr. Denise Metry, an assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, says improving your skin isn’t as difficult as you may think.

“Stress can be a catalyst for acne breakouts because it stimulates hormones, which in turn causes some skin glands to pump out more oil,” Metry said.

She suggests that teens wash their face twice a day with a gentle cleanser, maintain a healthy diet and get adequate rest to help prevent future breakouts.

Other treatment options include topical creams such as Retin-A to help unclog oil ducts and antibacterial creams, lotions or gels with benzoyl peroxide, which can be used alone or in combination with topical or oral antibiotics.

Some young women may be prescribed the birth control pill to help control acne, and Metry may recommend chemical peels for those with severe acne.

“I think that parents downplay acne a lot of the time, but it can become a serious problem if it’s not addressed early on,” Metry said. “I encourage kids to talk to their physicians and in severe cases contact a dermatologist.”

Concerned about acne or other skin problems? Contact Baylor Medicine Dermatology.

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