Acne in children

Acne In Children At A Glance

  • Best Results3-6 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery0 days
  • Procedure Time10 minutes LED therapy
  • Skin SpecialistMedical Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsMonths
  • AnaestheticNil
  • Back to WorkNot applicable
  • Cost$-$$

Acne in children

Acne or acne-like eruptions on the skin can occur in children of any age however it is very unusual for it to occur in children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. This period is often referred to as the acne-free zone because oil gland activity in the skin is at its lowest during this period.

In children, acne has two important ages of occurrence. Firstly, acne can occur from about 2 weeks of age. This is referred to as neonatal acne or more recently ‘neonatal cephalic pustulosis’. Secondly, acne may develop in older children, from about the age of 3-6 months. This is more commonly known as infantile acne & may persist until puberty.

My colleagues at Cutis treat acne in all ages, from infantile acne, teenage age thru to hormonal acne. An acne treatment program initiated early can help prevent or reduce acne scarring.

FactsFacts on Acne in Children

  • Occurs in more than 20% of healthy newborns
  • Occurs from about 2 weeks of age
  • Usually clears by about 3 months of age
  • Most often affects the cheeks and nose
  • Cause is not clear – certain types of yeast which grows on the skin (Malassezia) are thought to play a role
  • May also be caused by high hormone levels in this age group acting upon sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin
  • Often resolves without medical treatment
  • Antifungal creams, lotions (ketoconazole) or benzoyl peroxide products are often effective treatment
  • Severe cases may require systemic (tablet) treatment

What causes acne in children?

The cause of neonatal and infantile acne is unknown. In neonatal acne, certain types of yeast that live on the skin may be a cause. Hormones passed from the mother to the baby during the end of pregnancy may also be involved through their action on the oil glands in the skin.

Infantile acne likely has an inherited tendency. Generally, hormones are not thought to cause it. However, other medical problems associated with abnormal levels of hormones can amongst other things, cause acne in children.

In some cases, irritation from soaps, lotions, fabrics & food or milk can cause acne-like rashes on babies face. On occasion, medications and other illnesses can also play a role. Where cases of acne in babies and infants do not clear after a few weeks, review by a specialist Dermatologist is recommended.

In most babies with acne there is no need for investigations. In older children where it is suspected that there may be hormonal abnormalities, your specialist Dermatologist may perform some screening blood tests to look for various hormones and other tests.

Davin’s Viewpoint on acne management in children

These viewpoints are based upon medical dermatology. I elect not to practice medical treatments as I am procedural only.

One in children can be more distressing for the parent than the child, however as children reach their teenage years and are more self-conscious, treating acne at this stage is important. Most cases of childhood acne can be managed with a combination of creams containing Vitamin A and antibiotic lotions and gels. If acne is potentially scarring, treatments such as isotretinoin maybe considered in extreme & exceptional circumstances.

Early, safe and effective management of childhood acne can reduce or even prevent long term scarring. For an opinion on options, see my medical colleagues @cliniccutis

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