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What do you do when your
pre-teen child is unhappy and defiant, feeling depressed or alienated because
she or he has PIMPLES? And they are only 9 or 10 years old! The situation
obviously cannot be ignored, so how do you treat children with PRE-TEEN acne
Most people associate acne
with the teenage years and accept acne as a normal part of growing up. More
recently, pre-teen or pre-adolescent acne is gaining more attention from
pediatricians, dermatologists and of course pre-teens along with their parents.
In fact, 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. In part, this increased
attention to pre-teen acne (ages 8-12) results from observations that this
younger age group is now experiencing acne.
A study published by Lucky
et al revealed acne lesions in 78% of 365 girls ages 9 to 10.
The fact that acne is
occurring at this young age is an issue of special concern since the majority
of clinical trials for acne medications are conducted in patients 12 years of
age or older. As a result, there is little published evidence regarding the
safety and efficacy of many acne medications in patients younger than 12 years
The causes (pathogenesis)
of acne vulgaris (common acne) appears to be similar at all ages, so we assume
that the same factors responsible for teenage acne are involved in pre-teen
As the causes of acne may
be similar, should we also assume that the treatment may be?
Unfortunately NOT, because younger children are obviously in a different
development stage than older teens, and the medications used for older
adolescents and adults have not been tested on pre-teens. As a result, a
healthy dose of skepticism and special attention has to be given to this
Pre-Teen Acne Treatments -
Safe, Safer and Not-So-Safe Options
So far, the list of
available over-the-counter (OTC) options, products and prescriptive drugs for
pre-teen acne does not differ from those that have been developed for teen and
adult acne. And this creates a potential problem and requires active
participation from parents.
There are no products
specifically developed or approved for pre-teen acne, therefore, since we are
dealing with the really young, in their formative stages for both body and
mind, special care has to be taken when considering which products to use. As a
result, the standard treatment progression utilized for teen acne needs to be
modified if applied to pre-teens:
It is clear that when
evaluating the options for pre-teen acne, the preferred course of treatment
should have the highest level of safety record and the lowest possible dose for
this age group.
rationale of most of the current treatments is similar for all ages and focuses
on the treatment of existing pimples rather than the prevention of acne. This
particular point was cited in the most recent guidelines from AARS which
emphasize that the prevention of "microcomedones" (precursor to
pimples on the surface of the skin) is a critical pre-teen acne focus.
is the not-clinically-apparent precursor of both comedonal and inflammatory
lesions. It is a product of hyperactive sebaceous glands and altered follicular
growth and differentiation.
in existing microcomedones and prevention of the formation of new ones is
central to the management of all acne lesions."
Safe Treatments that
Prevent Pre-Teen Acne
The take home message from
this rather complicated discussion is to look for safe products that will
ultimately prevent pimples from forming. To date, the only product that is
administered systemically that prevents new acne from forming is Isotretinoin,
which, with all its highly publicized serious and long-term side effects, is absolutely NOT recommended
for younger teens and, if even considered, is reserved (with serious caution
and a full disclosure of possible health hazards) for the most severe cases of
AcnEase® is a proprietary botanically derived natural medicine that prevents the formation of new acne.AcnEase® works
to help the body to decrease sebaceous gland secretions, the hallmark for acne
of all age groups. In clinical testing, AcnEase® has
been shown to be both safe and effective, and has not been known to cause any
adverse side effects while used short or long term. Most importantly, this
Therapeutic® is not counter-indicated for younger teens
that start to develop acne, and usually provides positive results with the use
of the mild regimen.
To learn more about
AcnEase and how it can help, click here.
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