Back to school can be a nerve-racking time for teens. While students put their best faces forward, many are dealing with the embarrassing issue of acne.
Fourteen-year-old Connor Fleniken is walking high school halls for the first time as a freshman at Sulphur High School. This year, he is feeling very different about his confidence compared to junior high years plagued by acne.
“I felt self-conscious and insecure about it,” he said, “I could tell it wasn’t right and it was noticeable.”
Connor’s outbreaks started during puberty – prime time acne years for young people.
“Probably around fifth grade, that’s just when it started coming up and I just saw little things on my face,” he said.
Over the counter washes and creams did not cut it, so Connor began seeing Imperial Health dermatologist, Dr. Maureen Olivier. She said puberty causes oil glands to become active and hormones called adrenal androgens start increasing, triggering pimples.
“Hormones, when they break down, can be androgen-like and there are receptors in the oil gland that notice this and that causes the oil gland to produce more oil,” said Olivier.
From whiteheads to blackheads, pimples and cysts, the face of acne can vary. Olivier said hormone imbalances, stress and family history all affect a teen’s skin.