We all know how drastically the onset of puberty can change your child. One day, they are a sweet, happy go lucky youngster without a care in the world, the next they turn into a moody, irritable, raging, teenager.
We all blame this transformation on the onset of puberty and the body's sudden production of sex hormones. Along with mood changes, these hormones can also bring on acne in some teenagers. Whether or not any one teen suffers from acne can depend on a variety of factors, but researchers have found the root cause of acne is these sex hormones.
Androgens are the specific hormones that have been saddled with being the cause of acne. These androgens are the male sex hormone. Wait a minute, if these androgens are the male sex hormones, why do so many females also have acne, you may ask. Actually, it is natural for females to produce both male and female sex hormones, so their bodies are producing there acne causing hormones also. In fact, studies have shown that it is the teenage girls who have higher levels of androgens in their blood who have more trouble with acne than their counterparts with a lower androgen count.
How, then, do these androgens cause acne? It appears acne is a result of the body's abnormal response to the hormone androgen. More specifically, in some teenagers, androgens rev up the sebaceous glands located in the skin's follicles. Put more simply, the glands in the pores on your face, and often your back and chest also, can produce unusually large amounts of oil in response to the body's sudden production of androgens. If these pores become blocked with dead skin cells or dirt, the oil backs up and a pimple forms. That, in a nut shell, is the way in which androgens are responsible for the cause of acne.
The theory that androgens are the main cause of acne is backed up by the fact that in some teenage girls, birth control pills can help reduce the number of breakouts. This is especially true for pills comprised of a combination of estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones.
While these androgens have been cited as the cause of acne, there are also some other triggers that should also be avoided. These triggers can include things such as stress and eating an unhealthy diet. Scientists have also found a genetic link for acne. Meaning, if you had acne as a teen, your teenagers are at a greater risk for developing acne.
It will be a relief for teens and their parents to learn that hormone levels will regulate as the teen approaches adulthood and acne will disappear. Until then, the best advice is to have your teen wash their face at least twice daily and see a dermatologist if their acne become severe or interferes with their self confidence. As far as the teenager moodiness goes, this will also disappear as teens move toward adulthood. Parents, just be patient.
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