Tips to start school year acne free

Having acne can be discouraging, especially when a breakout pops up right before an important day. With the new school year just around the corner, Dr. Ramsey Markus, associate professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine, offers tips on how to treat and hopefully clear acne before the first day of school.

Hormones and skincare play a big role in developing acne. However, stress is also a key factor. “Stress causes production of stress hormones that can lead to acne,” Markus said.


Other hormonal factors, like extra production or consumption of testosterone or progesterone, can also cause acne.

“Many girls break out due to the hormone production around the time of their menstrual cycle,” Markus said.

Most teens suffer from a combination of hormonal and stress acne, and it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate the two. While acne may appear on the cheeks or forehead, Markus said hormonal acne will typically appear on the chin region on the face.

Treatment options

There are plenty of at-home treatments that can be done to help keep acne at bay. One skincare routine that is highly recommended is to gently wash the face one to two times per day.

“Over-the-counter products like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or adapelene can be very helpful if used consistently to prevent acne,” Markus said.

He also suggests avoiding triggers like stress, carbs, dairy or medications that worsen acne. This could include avoiding certain types of birth control pills, steroids and other causative medications if possible.

Teenage acne is often times difficult to treat. You may follow a recommended skin care regimen and acne can still appear. If at-home remedies do not work, a dermatologist may be needed to intervene.

“There are many options, from prescription oral and topical medications to laser treatments. Our strongest treatments include powerful medications like Isotretinoin, which was formerly known as Accutane,” he said.

To schedule a visit with a Baylor dermatologist, call 713-798-6131 or request an appointment online.

-By Jeanette Jimenez

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