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How to Treat Children With Acne

How to Treat Children With Acne How to Treat Children With Acne


Acne forms when pores become clogged with oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. It can show up as a variety of bumps, including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and pustules. If your child has acne, she's in the majority.

Acne afflicts about 17 million Americans, particularly preteens and teens, who have an 80 percent chance of having acne, according to the Nemours Foundation. Knowing the condition is common can be reassuring, but it doesn't reduce the problem itself. Fortunately, some treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help clear up your child's face and help her feel like herself again.

Step 1

Show your child how to gently cleanse his face. Buy him a gentle cleanser rather than a harsh soap or scrub, then tell him he should keep the water lukewarm and wash using his hands--rather than a washcloth--to avoid irritating his skin. Remind him to wash his face at least once a day, but discourage him from washing more than twice a day or else he risks drying out his skin and aggravating his acne, according to the Nemours Foundation.

Step 2

Ask your child's pediatrician about over-the-counter acne lotions. Acne lotions, which commonly contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide as their active ingredients, can help promote sloughing of dead cells, kill bacteria and dry up oil to reduce your child's breakouts, according to the Mayo Clinic. A doctor can advise which product may best benefit your child's skin.

Step 3

Buy only cosmetics that are labeled "nonacnegenic," "noncomedogenic" or "water based." Your child can continue to wear make-up and hair styling products, and she should always wear sunscreen on her face to protect it from sun damage. Products without these labels may be oil-based, which means that they can cause breakouts, according to the Nemours Foundation.

Step 4

Talk to your child about other ways to reduce acne problems. You may want to draw up a list of helpful and harmful habits. Some important items to list may include the following: don't pick at or pop pimples; wash off your make-up every night before bed; regularly clean the nose piece on your glasses and the chin strap on your bike helmet; wash your face after sweating; keep hair gel away from your face; keep your hair out of your face; and avoid touching your face.

Step 5

Ask a pediatrician about prescription medications if your child's acne is aggressive. He can prescribe a treatment that may involve a cream that is stronger than over-the-counter lotions or he may suggest an oral antibiotic that kills bacteria and decreases swelling, says the Nemours Foundation. He may also recommend a combination of treatments or refer you to a dermatologist.

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