Acne can happen to children of all ages, but it is more common in preteens and teens. According to acne-control.org, since the sebaceous glands (oil glands) are inactive between birth and the preteen years, true childhood acne is rare, although it can occur in children between infancy and eight years old. Acne in children under the age of eight is abnormal and requires a physician's intervention.
True acne happens when overactive oil glands (also called sebaceous glands) produce oil that mixes with dead skin cells, causing clogged pores on the skin, says acnenet.com. When local bacteria meets up with the clogged pores, redness, inflammation and tenderness can occur, says skincarephysicians.com. True acne can present as whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, pustules, nodules or papules.
Causes of Child Acne
Acne-control.org states that the most common cause of childhood acne, other than true adolescent acne, is medication-induced. Drug-induced acne occurs when a child is taking a certain medication that stimulates the oil glands, says keepkidshealthy.com. Such medications may include oral or topical steroids, methotrexate and some anti-seizure medications. Parents are told when a medication has the potential to cause acne in their child and should be on the lookout for this side effect.
According to drgreene.com, newborn acne can happen soon after birth, right around three to four weeks of age. Drgreene.com says that newborn acne happens because in the final stages of pregnancy, the mother's hormones cross the placenta into the baby, thus stimulating the oil glands and producing baby acne. Newborn acne presents as a rash or as tiny pustules. It is fleeting and requires only that you keep the area clean and dry.
Acne-control.org states that acne in children below the age of eight is indeed a serious condition and should be treated by a physician. In fact, Dr. David Fay, Associate Director of Waukesha Family Practice Residency Program, states that true toddler acne is so rare that toddlers should be seen by a physician to determine if there could be an alternate "cause" for the condition, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis. Usually very mild, toddler acne can be treated by gently washing with a mild soap and water, says drgreene.com. Medications are not necessary.
According to drgreene.com, acne is not life-threatening but it can have serious side effects for a child, especially for his self-esteem. In addition, acne has the potential to be painful and leave permanent discoloration and scarring. Encourage your child to never squeeze or scrub the lesions as it may increase the inflammation. If necessary, consult a pediatric dermatologist for help.
Overview Acne can happen to children of all ages, but it is more common in preteens and teens. Accor...
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