Just when a guy or girl is discovering the charms of the opposite sex, experiencing the urge to be independent, opening up to find a whole new social life–pop–he or she looks in the mirror and finds a face closely resembling a small pizza with extra pepperoni.
Almost every teenager gets a pimple now and then, but acne is more than just the occasional blemish. It’s physically uncomfortable, at times even painful, somewhat embarrassing–and it can turn the teen years into an era right up there with the Inquisition. Acne affects 80 percent of all teenagers. Knowing the facts can help you better understand your friends who suffer from acne or help you approach your own with a little more hope.
Acne isn’t the result of being dirty, eating junk food, or using too much makeup. And it isn’t just a “teen thing” that will always clear up by itself. Acne is a skin disease, but it’s not contagious. Although it usually begins in adolescence, it has both physical and psychological effects that can last a lifetime.
Where Does it Come From?
Acne is very obvious. It means blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples that can make adolescent skin look like raw hamburger. While the face–doesn’t it just figure?–is the most common site, acne can also spring up on the chest, neck, shoulders, back–any area where there are many oil glands. According to dermatologist Joseph Bark, here’s the series of events that makes the “zits” appear.
1. As you make your way into adolescence, hormonal changes are happening all over your body. One of them is increased amounts of the hormone androgen.
2. The androgen sends a message to your oil glands (technically known as sebaceous …