Teen Skin Care
Junior high and high school can be tough! Do I want to try a sport or join a club? How am I going to get all of my homework done? Who am I going to go to Prom with this year? The only thing that could make things worse is having problems with your skin too. Acne, eczema, and warts can really be a drag on your school year, but it does not have to be! Let’s get some great advice on teen skin care from Ryan Crowder, Physician Assistant at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, PLLC in Fayetteville, Harrison, and Bentonville.
Acne is one of the most common dermatologic problems addressed when talking about teen skin care. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that nearly 85% of all people between the ages of 12 and 24 have at least mild acne. It is important to know you are not alone! Acne can include white heads (pustules), open comedones (black heads), and deep nodules. Deeper and inflammatory blemishes may lead to long term scarring.
Acne has four main causes: excessive oil production, clogging due to dead skin cells and oil, bacteria, and excess activity of hormones. There are several things to improve teen skin care at home.
1) Cleanse carefully and morning and night. If your skin is oily, try a foaming or gel-based cleanser. Cleanse twice daily and remember to never go to sleep with your makeup on. If your skin is dry, don’t dry it out more with an oily-skin cleanser. Use a gentle, creamier cleanser. Also, don’t use hot water, only warm. Hot water will actually dry your skin out by stripping it of moisture.
2) Oil Control. If you have very oily skin or you have more inflammatory (red) blemishes, try a cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Remember though that benzoyl peroxide products can bleach colored towels or clothing!
3) Exfoliate. Only exfoliate once or twice a week. Over exfoliating can make your skin dry and irritated. An electronic brush device is one of the best ways to exfoliate. Using a gentle exfoliating face wash can also be helpful but remember to be gentle.
4) Moisturize. Choose a moisturizer right for your skin type and add a sunscreen on top, broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher every day. Even better find a moisturizer with a sunscreen, like EltaMD.
4) See your local dermatology provider. If products at the store do not seem to be cutting it, make an appointment with your local dermatology provider to get that extra boost your skin may need.
Winter months can be tough on your skin. Eczema often shows up as red, itchy, patches. It often affects the inside of the arms and behind the knees, but it can be anywhere. Eczema can have many causes. Dry skin and fragranced or harsh products are the most common culprits. There are several things that can be done at home to help treat or prevent eczema. Start with avoiding products with fragrances and look for “hypoallergenic” products. Choose creams over lotions. Creams are thicker and more moisturizing for the skin. Apply moisturizers twice daily. Some people can benefit from using over-the-counter hydrocortisone. Although helpful, remember to only use hydrocortisone sparingly as it is a topical steroid and has possible risks if used over long periods of time. If your eczema does not improve with these recommendations it may be time to schedule a visit with your local dermatology provider.
Warts are very common. They usually show up as thick, scaly bumps on the hands and feet. Warts are caused by a virus that lives in your skin cells and can be passed from person to person. If a wart is near the surface of the skin or is fairly small, some over-the-counter products may be helpful. Most over-the-counter products contain salicylic acid or a freezing agent. They both may cause irritation or blistering of the skin. Always follow the directions on the insert or back of the box when using over-the-counter products. If warts are numerous or thick dermatology providers have many other treatment options: liquid nitrogen, topical creams/solutions, and injectable medications. Warts, however, can be stubborn and often take multiple treatments before they resolve.
You get advice on everything, even your skin. This is advice you can count on from Ryan Crowder, PA-C. Ryan graduated from Purdue with a major is biology and a minor in chemistry. He also graduated from Harding University for his Physician Assistant. Ryan has achieved Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) Diplomat status by completing the nationally recognized distance learning initiative provided by The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. This is the highest honor available as a dermatology Physician Assistant. He has been a valuable member of the Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, PLLC team for over 6 years. We love him, and his patients love him. To quote him, “I would be humbled to be a part of your skin health journey. It is my greatest honor to serve the dermatologic medical needs of Northwest Arkansas.”