Home > Teens > Puberty and Sex > Changes During Puberty > Acne Treatment Advice
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Acne Treatment Advice

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Shari Nethersole, M.D.

Q: I have a daughter who is 11 years of age and African-American. She is going through puberty and experiencing severe acne, which causes her embarrassment. I would like to know what products are available to her. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

A: Most children have some difficulty with acne during their pubertal years. Acne develops during this time because the hormones that increase with puberty also cause an increase in the oils and other substances that are produced by the skin. It also promotes the growth of certain bacteria which are the main cause of acne.

In order to lessen the development of acne, it is important to cleanse the skin regularly, to keep it free of these oils and to diminish some of the bacteria. This does not mean washing the face multiple times a day, as that is not good for the skin either. Rather, your daughter should wash her face twice a day with a good soap or cleansing solution. I recommend glycerin type soaps, such as Neutrogena Facial Bar.

Be careful about the products that are used in your daughter's hair. Pomades and gels often seep onto the skin, and can promote the development of more acne, especially on the forehead and temples. Also, pull back your daughter's bangs so they don't touch the skin.

For children who have a lot of bumps, I usually recommend a benzoyl peroxide gel or cream to use a once a day. This helps to break down the acne bumps that are there, and help the skin heal. Benzoyl peroxide can be very drying though, so start out slowly, with a 5 percent concentration, rather than 10 percent. These are available in drug stores without a prescription.

If your daughter's acne does not improve with these measures, have her see her primary physician to discuss other treatments. Depending on the type and severity of acne, other products can be prescribed, such as retinoic acid cream, and antibiotics. It would also be important to make sure there are no associated medical conditions in patients who have very severe acne.

More on: Expert Advice

Shari Nethersole is a physician at Children's Hospital, Boston, and an instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and did her internship and residency at Children's Hospital, Boston. As a pediatrician, she tries to work with parents to identify and address their concerns.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks