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Teen Skincare Long Island, NY

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When Is It Time to See a Doctor About My Teen’s Acne?

Our aesthetic experts offer skincare solutions for Teen Acne at Marotta Med Spa on Long Island

Hormonal changes and the increase of oil production in the skin causes breakouts and often troublesome acne for teens. Acne can develop in children as early as nine years old and last until adulthood. Treating acne early is important, but acne could cause physical scars and emotional embarrassment if it becomes severe.

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What is acne?

Inflammatory acne causes cysts and nodules because of bacteria trapped within the pores.

Non-inflammatory acne is caused by the overproduction of oil and dead skin cells that become trapped or clogged in the pores of the skin, causing unsightly bumps, blemishes, and pimples. Is there a difference in the types of acne for boys and girls? Acne is more prevalent in males during the teenage years, often because of the surge in hormones. However, when acne continues into adulthood, it is more common in women. Experts say the prime factors of acne are heredity and hormones.

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Types of Acne

Typically, acne goes away as you get older, but it affects people of all skin types and ethnicities. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, 80 percent of teens experience acne breakouts before they turn 30. Therefore, it is essential to determine which type of acne your teen has to treat it effectively. Four common types of acne include:


Acne caused by clogged pores due to dirt and debris on the skin’s surface is called Blackheads. They can show up on the face, nose, forehead, neck, chest, or back. However, the black center of a blackhead is not caused by dirt but consists of cells and oil found in the hair follicle. When the air oxidizes the trapped substances, it turns the acne black. Blackheads are known as open comedones.


When small white bumps or whiteheads appear, the plugged follicle is under the skin. Whiteheads primarily show up on the face but may develop anywhere on the body. The T-zone is a very popular area for whiteheads or closed comedones to appear.

Papules and pustules

Once the small bumps on the skin become inflamed, they are known as Papules. However, if they are filled with pus, they are called Pustules.

Cysts or nodules

In some cases, infection within the sebaceous glands becomes further irritated, and the infection may spread deeper into the skin’s surface. Cysts or nodules are deeper, painful lesions that often need treatment by a doctor or dermatologist to prevent scarring.

Acne Solutions & Treatments

When acne becomes severe, medical treatment may be necessary to minimize scarring. It is not necessary to run to your doctor at the first sign of teen acne.

Often acne can be treated with a variety of over-the-counter products. However, as a parent or guardian, you will want to offer support and guidance when your teen becomes embarrassed by the acne. When acne becomes severe, medical treatment may be necessary to minimize scarring.

Skin Care treatment products
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Effective acne treatments include:

Over-the-counter - treatments

Many store remedies claim they treat acne. However, it is crucial to find acne treatments containing either Benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These two ingredients are the two most common and effective over-the-counter solutions for mild acne. Typically found in body and face washes, astringents, and moisturizers, salicylic acid removes dead skin cells that lead to whiteheads and blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide is effective for severe acne breakouts, including inflamed acne lesions. Benzoyl peroxide dries up dead skin cells, reduces excess sebum, and kills acne-causing bacteria on contact. It is recommended to try spot treatments for cysts, nodules, or pustules with two to five percent of this solution.

For widespread inflammatory breakouts, you may want to try a face wash or lotion with up to 10 percent benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a potent ingredient and can make your skin irritated and red with initial use. Use these products once a day and gradually increase them two times a day. Be careful using Benzoyl peroxide around hair and clothing as it can cause a permanent stain. Use facial products that are non-comedogenic, especially for acne-prone skin. Non-comedogenic means that the ingredients in the products will not clog your pores. The product label on most face washes, moisturizers, sunscreens, and makeup will clearly state non-comedogenic.

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Vitamin A derivatives or retinoids are a traditional acne solution that unclogs oil ducts and prevents cysts and nodules from forming.

Retinoids are available only by prescription, and the gels and creams with Retinol are prescribed first before other stronger medication is offered. Differin gel and Retin-A are types of prescribed topical creams that treat acne. It is imperative to limit sun exposure while applying these products as they will increase skin sensitivity to the sun and UV rays.

The Retinol pill form is known as Isotretinoin and is taken daily. It is much stronger than topical retinoids and is not typically prescribed unless all other avenues have been explored. Female patients will have to take a pregnancy test before being prescribed Isotretinoin because it has severe fetal side effects. In addition, parents will need to sign a consent form to acknowledge side effects, including depression.

Long Island Teen Skincare model with brown hair


Topical gels, cream, and oral antibiotics can treat inflammatory acne. Your doctor or dermatologist can prescribe your teen’s acne treatment after a consultation and exam.

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Reduce Stress & Offer Support

Prevention and early treatment can prevent or reduce scarring and minimize future breakouts.

Acne for teens can be stressful. Reducing stress can help alleviate an acne flare-up by finding healthy ways your teen can manage stress, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, encouraging healthy eating habits, practicing an effective skincare routine. If your teen is not showing any signs of improvement with over-the-counter medications over several weeks, it is time to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or see an expert in addressing skin concerns like our Long Island team at Marotta Med Spa.

Should I see a doctor or dermatologist about my teen’s acne?

For older teens with moderate to severe acne, seeking treatment from a dermatologist or skin experts such as Marotta Med Spa can determine what is causing your teen’s acne and create a unique treatment plan to reduce acne flare-ups and minimize scarring.

If your child is under the age of 14, seek advice from your pediatrician. Acne can begin as young as nine years old. Preteens will often have a very mild case of acne. Your pediatrician can offer practical solutions for you and your child, such as having your child shower more frequently, washing their face every day, and changing eating habits to be more healthy.

Long Island Teen Skincare provider Dr. James Marotta
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Join our Healthy Skin Club

At Marotta Med Spa, we will customize a treatment plan to optimize your teen’s skin health for youthful, healthy skin.

When you join the Healthy Skin Club, our team of nurses and licensed aestheticians will assess your teen’s overall skin health. Utilizing all of the treatments and modalities we offer, they will customize a treatment plan to help you achieve your skincare goals. Plus, membership has its benefits; just by being a member, you’ll be treated to exclusive offers, savings, and opportunities to make being a member an essential part of a healthy YOU!

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Schedule your acne consultation with Marotta Med Spa today

Let the skin experts at Marotta Med Spa on Long Island help you find the proper skincare solution that is right for your teen.

Acne treatments have advanced since most parents suffered from unsightly blemishes. While acne can cause emotional distress for your teen, it should never feel isolating. Find support and learn more with a skincare and acne consultation today.

MarottaMD utilizes VECTRA® XT A complete 3D Imaging Solution for Body, Breast, and Face.

We are able to capture face, breast, and body images in ultra-high resolution 3D, to show our patients the exciting possibilities of their simulated aesthetic procedures.

IntelliStudio's Vectra 3D Machine

When you schedule your consultation with Marotta Plastic Surgery Specialists, you can feel secure that the decision you are making is the right one for you. Dr. Marotta’s expertise and skill make him a top Long Island plastic surgeon who enjoys answering your questions. Schedule your consultation today to begin your journey to looking good and feeling good.

895 West Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787