Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Which face cleansers work well for young children?"
My 8 year old has what looks just like teenage acne. Everyone in our family has bad skin, so I'm sorry to say this was not much of my surprise. Now I'm wondering what I can do to get him started on a good skin care routine, but all of the OTC medicines are built for adults. Are there any that are good for kids?
Acne in an 8 year old used to be uncommon, however, the age of puberty has been reduced in the last 50 years so it is becoming much more common in 8-12 year olds. However, it is important to make sure that it is indeed acne, and not another skin condition that requires different treatment. Therefore I recommend talking your child to his primary care doctor or a dermatologist to confirm your presumed diagnosis and discuss appropriate treatment. In the meantime, or if it does turn out to be acne, here are some suggestions. Make sure your child uses a gentle cleansing soap such as cetaphil in the morning and at night. You can try an over the counter product that contains benzoyl peroxide such as clearasil and instruct your child to apply it very sparingly to affected areas. Have him or her stop using the product if it causes redness, burning, excess dryness, or seems to be making his skin worse. It is important to advise your child to avoid frequently touching the areas of acne and to definitely never "pop" or pick at zits as this can make skin much worse and even lead to an infection.
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