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Skin Care Tips for Teens

4 Simple Steps to Healthy Skin continued...

While soaps and astringents remove oil from the skin, they don't alter the oil production. Scrubbing the skin sometimes causes irritation, which triggers acne instead of resolving it.

Skin products containing benzoyl peroxide may help to treat mild acne if you use sparingly (once daily in the evening). The goal is to treat all oily areas of the face -- forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks -- not just where you notice pimples. Treating the areas that tend to break out may help prevent future pimples.

Some of these products can cause the skin to become too dry if overused. If you feel stinging or burning, rinse your skin with mild soap and water. Try the topical benzoyl peroxide again the next day.

Some over-the-counter acne products can cause rare but serious allergic reactions or severe irritation. Seek emergency medical attention if you have symptoms such as throat tightness, difficulty breathing, feeling faint, or swelling of the face or tongue. Also stop using the product if you develop hives or itching. Symptoms can appear anywhere from minutes to a day or longer after use. 

Be aware that you must use benzoyl peroxide daily for a least a month before you'll see the full effect. You have to be a bit patient.

4. Protect

After cleansing your skin, protect it daily from the sun and other environmental factors. Use a moisturizer or foundation with a sunscreen of SPF of 30 or higher (depending on your skin pigmentation or color) year-round.

Wearing sunscreen with protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide-brimmed hats, while avoiding the sun's peak ultraviolet rays (from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.), may provide some protection against premature aging and skin cancer.

Why Moisturize Skin?

Water is an essential part of healthy skin. Normally, hydration moves from the inside of the skin to the outer layer. When skin lacks hydration, it becomes dry and flaky. Without adequate moisture, skin looks dry and dull. During winter, the icy outdoor air and blasts of heat from the furnace make things worse. You can compensate for these "moisture robbers" by using over-the-counter moisturizers and drinking plenty of water.

A moisturizer is a product that functions to increase the water content of the skin's top layer. Choose a moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen to help protect your skin from the sun's rays. If you have sensitive skin, avoid moisturizers with added fragrance.

When Should I Call A Doctor About My Skin?

No matter what your skin type, if you are unsure how to treat acne or other skin problems, talk to your primary health care provider or a dermatologist. Treating your skin properly each day is the key to avoiding more serious skin problems.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on February 23, 2012

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