Acne can occur at any age and can affect quality of life and self-esteem. Fortunately, there are many safe treatments available, both over the counter and prescription. Pre-teens are an age group we are seeing seek treatment for acne more often, likely due to the earlier onset of puberty.
A safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) medication for mild-to-moderate acne is benzoyl peroxide. It comes in different strengths and many formulations including cleansers, masks, and body washes. OTC salicylic acid products are also readily available. For moderate acne, prescription products used alone or in conjunction with OTC are likely needed. There are various topical and oral antibiotics which can be used to reduce the P. acnes bacteria and inflammation associated with acne. Topical retinoids, like adapalene and isotretinoin, are also safe for this age group. They address the increased sebum, e.g. oil production, and improve skin cell turnover, which can help resolve and prevent acne break-outs.
There are also options for more severe acne that require close monitoring by dermatologist. A pediatrician or dermatologist can evaluate your child and decide the safest and most effective regimen for his or her acne.
Yara White, PA-C
Savola Aesthetic Dermatology Center, PLC
Fishersville | 540.451.2833