Acne in Younger Kids: To Treat or Not to Treat?

07 Jun Acne in Younger Kids: To Treat or Not to Treat?

Adolescents are being treated at a younger age and with more frequency than the recent past for issues with acne. The question that still stands though is whether children are actually getting moderate to severe acne at an earlier age, or are changes in society causing this trend? New guidelines were published recently in the medical journal ‘Pediatrics’ on the causes, diagnosis and treatments of pediatric acne.

young girl

More Pediatric Acne or Less Tolerance?

It’s difficult to determine if there are more cases of acne in younger children or if the tolerance for ignoring it has waned in doctors and parents since much of the evidence is anecdotal. The age of the onset of puberty has continued to lower in the last decade. It is not uncommon for puberty to begin as young as 9 or 10 in some children. Puberty causes the development of the adrenal glands, acne problems may begin at this time, explaining why children as young as 7 complain of skin disorders such as pediatric acne.

Many believe however that the reason that the medicinal treatment of acne has increased is because parents have become more aggressive in demanding treatment of their children’s acne problems. Whether its parents’ perfectionism, protection from bullying or their desire to avoid self esteem issues in heir children – today’s parents are more apt to seek a medical resolution for their young kids’ acne. Doctors and pediatric dermatologists are more willing to prescribe oral or topical medication to resolve pediatric acne than they used to be; Better now than Later seems to be the mantra. Medical professionals balance the decision between the juvenile’s ability to maintain the regime and dosing with the physical and mental benefits of acne treatment.

Considerations for the Treatment of Pediatric Acne

Acne medications that contain Retinol-A or Benzoyl peroxide to treat moderate to severe acne may have side effects that include peeling and severe sensitivity to the sun. However, despite these consequences, the results are very appealing to those suffering skin problems. The larger consideration though for parents of adolescents is that most of the acne treatments have not been approved for patients younger than 12. Children under 12 are normally given oral antibiotics to kill the bacteria that aids in acne.

To Treat or Not to Treat

The two biggest factors that pediatricians and dermatologists consider in determining if they will prescribe medication to an adolescent are the psychological effects of severe acne as well as preventing acne lesions and acne scarring. Elementary and Middle School can be daunting for any child but the damage from ridicule that a youngster with acne problems might endure may well surpass any presumed side effects from acne treatment. Secondly, early onset of acne problems may be a prelude to severe acne in later years. Treating acne at a younger age can avoid acne scars and lessen the severity of the outbreaks. If the mental and long-term effects forecast negatively then treating the acne earlier will prove the best outcome. If your child suffers from acne, consult your pediatrician or a dermatologist for treatment options.

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