As puberty begins, both boys and girls will notice a change in their skin because of the impact of rising testosterone in their body.
Illustration from I’m a Girl, Hormones
One of testosterone’s functions throughout life, from puberty on, is to stimulate certain skin glands to produce their product. One of these skin glands is called the sebaceous gland.
This gland is attached to a hair follicle and produces an oily product that passes through a thin tube onto the surface of the skin. Flat, dead skin cells are shed from the surface of the skin all day and night. If they plug up the thin tube from the sebaceous gland, the oil it has produced cannot get out. This causes the formation of a pimple.
Testosterone awakens these skin glands during puberty. That is why adolescent boys and girls might begin to see pimples on their face and upper back as puberty begins.
Encourage your child to wash their face every day to loosen dead skin cells that might be blocking the sebaceous gland from releasing its oil. There are other factors, including genetics, that might make your child’s situation unique, but good hygiene will help.
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