Important Tips for Mom's of Pre-Teens with Acne

Important Tips for Mom's of Pre-Teens with Acne

While we normally associate acne with teenagers, a surprising number of pre-teens suffer from the condition as well. As this younger age group experiences more and more breakouts, pre-teen acne is gaining more attention from pediatricians and dermatologists. For example, a recently published study noted 78% of girls between nine and ten years of age have had acne breakouts (study published by The Cincinnati College of Medicine).

Additionally, in May 2013 the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS) published guidelines for the "Diagnosis and Treatment of Pediatric Acne" which was subsequently endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

It is therefore very important to carefully address how to deal with your child's acne even before they become teenagers.   

Preventative Methods

Think prevention. Preventative methods can greatly assist with the health of your pre-teen's skin.  So how do you prevent?  Think about the overall health of your child. Since pre-teen acne is usually triggered by hormonal fluctuation (we mean mostly testosterone and estrogen), making sure that your teen does not get exposed to additional factors that may exacerbate this fluctuation is very important. This will involve having a lifestyle that includes a diet as free as possible from hormone containing foods and a lifestyle that does not stimulate production of some other hormones that in turn may additionally stimulate hormonal imbalance.

Early detection of needing to actually treat acne will put you ahead of the game. Delay may not only set a path for chronic breakouts, but also may set the stage for acne scars.   Our  top recommendations are as follows:

  • Learn about non-hormone foods, mainly dairy and meats.
  • Monitor the sugar content of your teen's snacks.
  • READ labels! Teach your teen to read labels too.  Are there ingredients that you can't pronounce?  Research them to see what they are.
  • With health & beauty products, try to encourage your teen to chose natural ingredients based product wherever possible, and make sure they use non-comedogenic, paraban free and dyes or sulfates free products.  

Acne Treatments

There are a number of acne treatments available today, but very few actually are appropriate for this age group.  In the recently published guidelines published by the AARS (which is endorsed by the AAP), they note that the majority of clinical trials for acne medications are conducted in patients 12 years or older, and that there is little published evidence on the safety and efficacy of many acne medications in younger patients and that these medications can cause side effects and impact negatively on growth and development.  

With that said, before you make a decision about a method of treatment for your own pre-teen, use these tips to better figure out which one is the right choice for them.

Choose a Product Based on the Severity of Breakouts

Sometimes pre-teen acne is relatively mild-with the appearance of a stray whitehead or blackhead here or there. In cases like these, powerful acne medication is generally not recommended. Not only will these strong treatments be more expensive, but they may also needlessly expose your pre-teen to ingredients that may have significant health affecting side effects.  Those side effects may apply to prescription acne drugs and over the counter drugs (learn about the FDA warning here) and can range from skin irritation to nausea and dizziness as well the long term impact on bones, liver and the gastroenterological system.

Start small with mild treatments, and only consider intensifying your approach very carefully and if the very conservative steps are ineffective.  For example, start with adjusting your pre-teen skincare routine and the occasional use of a small dab of OTC antibiotic on the most prevailing pimples instead of right away relaying on the potent prescriptive medication or teenage or adult OTC treatments.   

Don't Rely on Acne Medication Alone

While some type of acne medicine may be necessary for your pre-teen's breakouts, it's always a good idea to try a lifestyle based treatment first. For example, the 2013 guidelines for treating acne in pre-teens set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gentle face washing twice a day without soap but with a pH balanced cleanser. Suggestions like this will not only help in controlling the current acne breakouts but will also instill healthy skincare habits at a young age-which will hopefully serve them for the rest of their lives.

Read the Ingredient List and Research Related Warnings

People are increasingly coming to the realization that natural is generally preferable to synthetic-or chemical, and this is definitely the case with acne treatments. Exposure to harsh, man-made chemicals is no good for people of any age, but it's especially important to protect pre-teens from them, since their bodies may not be as equipped to deal with them like adults. For example, salicylic acid is a most common ingredient in topical acne treatments. This substance is highly astringent and can cause skin irritation, which may be particularly severe in pre-teens, since their skin is more affected by disruptions. Always look for natural acne products, whenever possible.

Treat the Underlying Causes of Acne

Acne breakouts, in pre-teens, teenagers, and adults, don't begin on the surface of the skin-they start internally. For pre-teens, the cause of breakouts typically has to do with puberty and related hormone fluctuation. In recent decades, doctors have noted that pubescence is beginning earlier and earlier, and this means that a pre-teen's hormones are in flux earlier and earlier as well. These hormones may overstimulate the sebaceous glands that as a result will produce more skin oil (or sebum).  Too much sebum clogs pores and when combined with bacteria sets the stage for acne. If the acne treatment doesn't focus on addressing these origins of acne, then you can expect breakouts to continue and your pre- teen or teen to become a victim of the cycle of acne.   AcnEase, our all botanical unique formulation not only  provides people of all ages with safe and natural relief from existing acne by protecting the sebaceous glands from the disruptive effects of hormonal imbalances without actually affecting hormones directly but actually preventing new acne form forming . With it, the acne cycle will be stopped and your pre-teen can stay carefree, and more importantly, acne free.

With a promise of clear skin, Dr. A 

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