How to Treat Your Child’s Acne | Dermatology

How to treat your child's acne

What is acne?

Acne is a disorder of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are the areas around the base or root of each hair. Sebaceous glands are the small glands that release oil (sebum) in hair follicles. Sebum moisturizes the skin and hair. Oil and hair reach the surface of the skin through small holes called pores.

It is very common. Most children and young adults between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne at some point. This often begins in puberty. But it can happen at any age. There are different types of acne that affect newborns, infants, toddlers, and adults.

This may occur when pores become clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Bacteria naturally present on the skin may also get into clogged pores. It comes in several types. One type is comedone. This is a grease plug in the hair follicle. They are either closed whiteheads or open blackheads. This is not inflamed or infected.

Inflamed acne causes red, painful bumps or sores. The sores may become infected with bacteria. This includes acne:

  • Pustule: The bacteria cause inflammation of the hair follicles. Blisters are closer to the surface of the skin.
  • Papule: The hair follicle wall is irritated. Papules are deeper in the skin.
  • Nodule: These are larger, deeper, and stiffer.
  • Cyst: This is a pus nodule.

Causes of acne

It is the name given to the skin condition that arises when dead skin cells and an oily substance called sebum clog the pores of the skin.

Sebum is formed in the sebaceous glands located in the skin pores of the face, neck, chest, upper back, and arms. In adolescence, hormonal changes lead to enlargement of the sebaceous glands, an increase in their number, and an increase in sebum production.

If there is too much sebum, it can clog your skin pores, along with normal dead skin cells. Bacteria can get trapped and grow in your pores, which can cause redness and swelling. This is the beginning of acne.

Individuals with sleek skin can be more inclined to pimples. Cosmetics that contain oils, hair oil, and grease can make acne worse.

Acne tends to get worse during stressful periods.

Although pimples are more common in teenagers, adults can get pimples even in their forties.

How does acne develop?

This is caused by the blockage of the sebaceous glands in the skin pores. The sebaceous glands produce oil (sebum), which normally travels through hair follicles to the surface of the skin. If skin cells clog the follicle, blocking the oil, skin bacteria (called Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes) grow inside the follicle, causing inflammation. Acne develops in the following way:

  • Incomplete blockage of hair follicles results in the appearance of blackheads (black semi-solid plug)
  • Complete blockage of hair follicles leads to whiteheads (white semi-solid plug)
  • Infection and irritation cause whiteheads
  • The clogged follicle ruptures and pours oil, skin cells, and bacteria onto the surface of the skin. In turn, the skin is irritated and pimples or lesions develop.

Acne can be shallow (pimples without abscesses) or profound (when kindled pimples drive into the skin, causing discharge filled sacs that burst and lead to bigger sores).

Symptoms of acne

Acne can occur anywhere on the body. However, it usually appears in areas where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands, including:

  • Face
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Upper back
  • Neck

Below are the most common signs/symptoms. However, every child may experience different symptoms. Symptoms may include:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Nodules (solid, raised bumps)
  • Pus-filled lesions that may be painful

Symptoms may resemble other skin diseases. Always consult a doctor for a diagnosis.

Treatment for acne

Treatment will rely upon your youngster’s side effects, age, and general wellbeing. It will likewise rely upon how serious the condition is. The goal of treating is to improve the appearance of the skin and reduce the chance of scarring. Treatment will include gentle and regular skincare. A health care provider may advise your child:

  • Over-the-counter cleansers, creams, lotions, gels, or other products
  • Skin-to-skin (topical) or oral (oral) prescriptions
  • Other treatments or procedures, such as laser therapy, light therapy, or chemical peels
  • Drain a bag or inject it with the medicine

Topical medications are often prescribed to treat acne. They can be in the form of a cream, gel, lotion, or liquid. These may include:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This kills bacteria.
  • Antibiotics: These help stop or slow the growth of bacteria. It also reduces inflammation.
  • Tretinoin: This prevents new comedones from forming. It also encourages the growth of new skin cells and separates pimples.
  • Adapalene: This helps prevent new comedones from forming.

Medicines to take orally may be prescribed, such as:

  • Antibiotic medicines: These may include tetracycline, doxycycline, or erythromycin. They are utilized to get moderate extreme acne.
  • Isotretinoin: This may be prescribed for severe acne that cannot be cured by other methods.


Complications are mainly related to the formation of a permanent scar and the development of a severe infection. Other complications are the social and psychological issues of self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.


It may last for a long time or it may occur for a few days and then stop suddenly. However, early intervention and preventive advice may help reduce the development of severe acne. To prevent pimples in your child, here are some points you should remind your child:

  • Keep reminding the child not to squeeze, pop, or pick up pimples and pimples. This spreads infection and increases the chances of permanent scarring.
  • Work with your doctor when over-the-counter medications are not effective in treatment.
  • Go for counseling when you feel the child is emotionally affected by the condition.
  • Consider dermatologists who specialize in treating severe acne.
  • Stop treatment slowly, do not stop if acne marks persist.
  • Agree with your baby on gentle and regular skincare.

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