ZocdocAnswers"My daughter is 12 and she has had eczema since she was very, very young. Now that she's hitting puberty, she's starting to get acne too. What kinds of cleansers can she use on her face that won't irritate her eczema?"

Question

"My daughter is 12 and she has had eczema since she was very, very young. Now that she's hitting puberty, she's starting to get acne too. What kinds of cleansers can she use on her face that won't irritate her eczema?"

My daughter is 12 and she has had eczema since she was very, very young. Now that she's hitting puberty, she's starting to get acne too. What kinds of cleansers can she use on her face that won't irritate her eczema?

Answer

Treating acne can be more difficult in people who have eczema or other sensitive skin conditions. This is because many of the acne treatments that are used tend also to strip away the skin's natural protective oils, leading to worsening of eczema. This is especially true of products like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which are found in most 'acne' products and which are extremely drying to the skin. Probably the best first approach is to try a regimen that does not involve the use of these products. For example, daily facial washing with a mild, non irritating facial soap is often enough in adolescents with mild acne. If this is not enough, some find that adding an exfoliating treatment or even just gentle exfoliation by scrubbing is effective. Of course, skin protection with a facial moisturizer and a good sunscreen lotion should be kept up throughout. If these measures do not work, then it is probably best to discuss the issue with your daughter's dermatologist. This is because striking the right balance between skin drying agents and skin moisturizing agents can be difficult to achieve and it is best to involve a skin care specialist to help you out.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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