Top Teen Skin Problems – and How To Solve Them
The teen years can be filled with angst – the last thing you need is troubled skin. WebMD asked the experts for solutions to the most common teen skin problems.
Teen Skin Problem No. 2: Oily Skin
Although oily skin and acne often go hand-in-hand, this isn't always the
case. Some teens suffer from oily skin alone.
If your complexion is oily but you're not breaking out, there are two
"You can use topical treatments to 'mop up' the oil, or you can get to the
root of the problem which is excess oil production, and shut it down - and both
methods can work very well," says Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, clinical
associate professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical
To mop it up, Crutchfield says, choose products containing alcohol, such as
a "drying solution" that soaks up excess oil on the surface of the skin. You
can also use a blotting product -- sheets of specially treated paper that you
touch to your face to absorb oil.
Resnik often recommends an "oil inhibitor" like OC 8. "It utilizes an
absorbent technology to reduce shine and it's very effective and suitable for
all skin types," he says.
If none of these do the trick, Crutchfield says, professional laser
treatments can help. He notes that the Aramis laser, for example, is approved
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of oil production in
"It actually interacts with the oil glands themselves to get them to be less
active. In a sense, it causes them to 'go to sleep' for up to a year, so oil
production is dramatically down," says Crutchfield.
When the glands "wake back up", in anywhere from a few months to a year,
additional treatments can put them back to bed in no time.
What you don't want to do is wash your face excessively, trying to get rid
of the oil.
"The 'squeaky clean' feeling people get from using soaps is derived from
stripping the fatty oils from our skin, and is more harmful than good," says
Instead, use a gentle cleanser and wash no more than twice a day.
Teen Skin Problem No. 3: Excess Sweating
Be it on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, under your arms, in
your scalp, or anywhere on your body, if you often find yourself drenched in
perspiration, you're not alone. Doctors say this is a major issue for many
The problem, says Resnik, can result from two distinct conditions. The
first, he says, is caused by stress - with excess sweating most often occurring
under the arms.
"For this situation, all you need is a maximum-strength antiperspirant like
Maxim or Certain-Dri, which can really reduce perspiration output," he
They work by plugging the sweat ducts so the perspiration never reaches the
skin. If over-the-counter antiperspirants don't seem to help, he says, your
doctor can prescribe medical- strength products.