Acne In Children – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments You Should Be Aware Of

Written by Yaamini • 

Are you alarmed to notice acne erupt on your child’s delicate skin? Are you wondering if it is normal or an indication of a larger skin problem? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post is a good idea!

It is a common misconception that acne only affects teenagers. No, acne is quite common among pre-teens and children younger than that. Acne is a very common skin condition that plagues children all around the world. Want to know more about its causes, symptoms, and treatment? Read on!

What Is Acne?

Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. When the sebaceous glands get clogged, they lead to the formation of pimples and cyst. (1)

What Causes Acne In Children?

Learning about what causes acne in kids can help you find ways to prevent and treat it. It can help your child overcome the stress and dejection he may experience due to the acne on his skin.

When classified based on the age group there are mainly two types of acne:

  • Newborn/Infant Acne: If you think acne plagues only teens and adults, you are wrong. Although not very common, infants and newborns are also affected by acne. Newborns mainly have acne because their mothers pass the hormones to them just before delivery. Acne can also appear when the stress of the birth causes the baby’s body to secrete these hormones.
  • Puberty And Adult Acne: It is a very common type of acne and affects 80% of the people in the US between 11 and 30 years of age. Acne usually accompanies puberty related changes in the hormonal levels. The increased production of testosterone or the male sex hormones during puberty makes the sebaceous glands more active and cause acne. The skin glands in turn produce more oil or sebum that mixes with the dead cells and clogs the skin pores. Bacteria thrive in this mixture and cause swelling, redness and pus in the form of pimples. (2)

[ Read: Symptoms of Eczema In Children ]

Symptoms Of Acne In Children:

Acne can appear on any part of your body. However, mostly, acne occurs in places where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands. The commonly affected areas you can notice in kids with acne are:

  • Face
  • Chest
  • Upper back
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

The symptoms of acne include the following:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Pimples and redness
  • Cystic lesions that cause scarring (3)

[ Read: Psoriasis In Children ]

What Increases Your Child’s Risk Of Developing Acne?

There are several factors that may increase the chances of your child developing acne:

  • Using skin and hair care products that contain harsh skin-irritating chemicals.
  • Washing or scrubbing the face too often. Using harsh soaps and very hot water can aggravate acne.
  • The habit of picking and touching pimples can make them widespread.
  • If your child is undergoing a lot of stress, he is likely to suffer from acne.
  • Dandruff problem and excessive sweating too may cause acne.
  • Hair touching the skin may make the latter oily and lead to a breakout.
  • Wearing straps, tight-fitting clothes or using equipment like a violin that rub against the skin can cause acne. Frequent use of helmets, shoulder pads, headbands and turtle neck sweaters may worsen acne. (4)

[ Read: Home Remedies To Remove Warts In Children ]

Acne Treatment For Children:

Wait and watch approach is the best way to tackle acne and pimples. If acne fades in the due course of time, your child may not require treatment. It would be better to seek medical assistance at the earliest if the acne is severe and leaves scars, or if you have a strong family history of the skin disorder.

Child acne treatment mainly depends on the severity of skin problem:

  • Mild Acne: You can easily treat mild acne at home by helping your child use a mild soap and Cetaphil for cleansing his skin gently. You can also apply salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide on your child’s acne affected area. You can also give your child an antibiotic lotion for topical use.
  • Moderate And Severe Acne: It may require more serious medical intervention, where you need to consult a doctor for alleviating your child’s skin problem. The doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics and suggest the use of prescription topical creams, antibiotic gels or lotions that help fight acne. (5)

[ Read: Hives In Children ]

Prevention Of Acne In Children:

As prevention is better than cure, it is better to teach your child a few habits that will boost his skin health and keep acne at bay. Here are a few simple ways to prevent kids acne from occurring or recurring:

  • Make your child wash his face every day with a mild cleanser.
  • Wash his hair regularly and keep it away from his face.
  • Discourage your child from touching or picking acne
  • Keep your child’s scalp and hair clean to prevent dandruff.
  • Make him wear loose-fitting, breathable and light cotton clothes.
  • Advise him against the use of harmful hair care products. (6)

[ Read: Folliculitis In Children ]

Remember, following a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in promoting your child’s health and well-being. Encourage him to maintain a regular sleep pattern, exercise regularly, consume a balanced diet and follow a few personal hygiene practices.

Did your child suffer from acne? What treatment did the doctor suggest? Please share your experience and advice to help other children fight acne.

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