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Acne is a common skin condition that can be experienced at any age but is particularly prevalent during puberty. It involves the hair follicles and sebaceous glands in the skin.
As your child’s body changes, hormones cause glands under the skin to make sebum. Sebum is oil that lubricates the hair and skin. Sometimes, the body makes too much sebum. The oil normally travels up the hair follicle to the skin’s surface. When excess oil is present, the pathway can get clogged. Dirt and dead skin cells on the surface of the skin can also block the hair follicle.
Bacteria can get trapped in the clogged pores and promote inflammation.
The hormonal fluctuations of puberty are the most common cause of acne, but it can also be triggered by other reasons such as:
Acne is most common on the face and neck. It also appears on the shoulders, back and chest. Children and teens with acne often feel self-conscious, especially if acne covers large areas of their bodies.
Symptoms of acne will be different for each child. They include skin irritations such as:
Acne often corrects itself once puberty nears its end and hormone fluctuations end. Until then, available treatments are usually successful.
If your child shows signs of acne, a pediatric dermatologist can perform a physical exam to make a diagnosis. The dermatologist will examine your child's body and any present acne lesions. He or she will talk to you and your child about diet, use of makeup, family history of acne and hygiene.
There are many different treatments for acne. Mild cases of acne can usually be treated with over-the-counter washes or creams. More severe cases of acne may be treated with the following prescription-strength medicines:
Visit the trusted websites below to learn more about acne in children and teenagers.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.