How to Treat Childhood Acne


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While acne can develop in almost any age group, from those in their 20s to those in their 50s, this common skin condition is most prevalent in teenagers: by mid-adolescence, more than 40% of teens will report either acne or acne scarring. However, dermatologists are now reporting that the condition can also develop in pre-teen children. Fortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released guidelines to help dermatologist clinics and parents treat acne even in the youngest patients.

Childhood acne is believed to occur due to a trend in which both boys and girls are beginning puberty earlier than in the past. However, while teen and adult acne treatments can involve intense procedures, such as laser acne treatment, the best acne dermatologists will realize that children typically will not need these types of procedures and that they are likely too much for young patients anyway. Instead, the AAP recommends that children be treated with topical acne treatment products.

When childhood acne develops, parents are advised to begin with over-the-counter products, such as benzoyl peroxide. Some dermatologists have also recommended products with salicylic acid, but this ingredient has recently been linked to several serious allergic reactions. For this reason, the best acne dermatologists typically recommend that patients test new products on a small area of their hands a few days before using it on the rest of their body.

If basic washes and lotions have no effect, young patients can begin using stronger products, and should also consider seeing a dermatologist for acne advice. This might include topical retinoids or oral medication. In severe cases, patients may even be given oral antibiotics. In a very limited number of cases, the AAP has approved the use of drugs like Roaccutane, which can cause birth defects and depression. For this reason, these medications should only be used after careful consideration. If your child has acne, seeking out the best acne dermatologist in your area may be helpful in deciding which of these products will clear their skin.

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