KidsMD Health Topics

Acne in Children

  • Overview

    Acne is a chronic disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands located in the middle layer of the skin. In acne, the sebaceous glands are clogged, which leads to pimples and cysts. While a mild case of acne may resolve itself on its own, more serious cases may need intervention to stop the outbreak and prevent long-term scarring.

    • Acne is a common condition that affects millions of people in the United States.
    • It most often begins in puberty, when the male sex hormones — known as androgens — increase in both boys and girls, causing the sebaceous glands in the middle layer of skin to become more active and produce more sebum.
    • Acne can occur anywhere on the body but most often appears on the face, chest, upper back, shoulders and neck in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pus-filed cysts and solid, raised bumps.
    • Depending on the severity of the acne, it can be treated with either topical medications or oral antibiotics, or a combination of the two.
    • The most severe cases are treated with the oral drug isotretinoin or Accutane, which can have serious unwanted side effects, including psychiatric issues and serious consequences for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
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