The AmericAn college of obsTeTriciAns And gynecologisTs
Tool Kit for Teen Care, second edition
What is acne?
•	 Acne	occurs	when	the	pores	of	the	skin	become	clogged
•	 Bacteria	become	trapped	in	the	pore	and	irritate	the	skin
and	hair	follicle.
•	 The	irritation	around	the	plugged	pore	and	hair	follicle
forms	a	red	bump	called	acne.
•	 A	black	plug,	or	blackhead,	is	formed	when	the	dead
skin	comes	to	the	surface.
Who gets acne?
•	 Acne	affects	almost	all	teens.
•	 It	begins	around	puberty	when	the	body	produces	more
hormones	called	androgens,	which	make	the	oil	glands
produce	more	oil.
Are there degrees of acne?
•	 Acne	can	range	from	mild	to	severe.
•	 When	severe,	it	often	results	in	scarring.
•	 Squeezing	or	popping	pimples	forces	the	oil	and	bacteria
into	deeper	layers	of	skin	and	can	cause	cystic	acne	and
What contributes to acne?
•	 Changes	in	hormone	levels
•	 Family	history
•	 Hot,	humid	climate
•	 Oily	makeup
•	 Rubbing	and	irritating	the	skin
What helps to reduce acne?
•	 Having	a	healthy	diet	and	regular	exercise	helps	overall
skin	health.	Specific	foods,	such	as	fatty	foods	and
chocolate,	probably	do	not	make	acne	worse.
•	 Touching	or	squeezing	blemishes	can	increase	redness
and	scarring	and	should	be	avoided.
•	 Using	skin	care	products	labeled	“nonacnegenic,”
“noncomedogenic,”	“oil	free,”	or	“will	not	clog	pores”
•	 Rubbing	alcohol	will	not	help	acne	and	may	cause
•	 Keeping	hair	off	the	forehead	makes	your	skin	less	oily.
•	 Keeping	hands	and	telephone	off	of	the	face	reduces
how is acne treated?
•	 Use	a	mild	soap	and	wash	the	skin	gently.	Frequent
or	hard	washing	will	damage	the	skin	and	cause	more
•	 Medicine	can	be	bought	without	a	prescription
(2.5–10%	benzoyl	peroxide)	and	applied	to	the	skin
•	 Acne	medicines	should	be	applied	to	the	entire	area
where	the	break-out	occurs,	not	just	on	the	individual
•	 If	this	does	not	work,	a	doctor	can	be	contacte