SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/19/13 -- Serigne Gueye Ndiaye, who owns SGN Dermatology, is offering his thoughts on a new article that discusses the increasing rate of acne among young children. According to the journal Pediatrics, acne is becoming common in kids ages seven to 12. In years past, it was rare to see children as young as 12 struggling with acne, but the age range for persistent pimples and blackheads is dipping increasingly lower.
Dr. Latanya T. Benjamin, who is a dermatologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, notes, "I've definitely seen a shift. It's not uncommon for a seven- or nine-year-old to walk in with the first signs of acne."
The cause for acne among young children has earned the attention of scientists. While some believe that acne in kids is partially due to early puberty, others feel that it is simply because parents are becoming less tolerant of pimples, and are now more likely to take kids to get treatment than they were in years past.
A 2011 study published in Pediatric Dermatology took a look at roughly 93 million acne-related visits among kids ages six to 18. The findings showed that the average age for those seeking assistance with acne has dropped slightly, from 15.8 in 1979 to 15 in 2007. Researchers also noticed that the number of acne visits from children in the six to eight age group jumped to 1.5 percent from basically zero.
Serigne Gueye Ndiaye comments on the occurrence of acne in young children, stating, "Regardless of the cause, it is important that parents and doctors know how to help this boy or girl, as acne can cause permanent scarring and damage to a child's fragile self-esteem. It's also essential that the young acne sufferer learns the most effective ways to deal with acne, and is given products that can help them get their pimples under control."
Dr. Anne W. Lucky, who is a pediatric dermatologist, explains that she sees more 12-year-olds in her practice that say that their acne started at least two to three years ago, with some experiencing serious pimples as early as third grade.
However, Dr. Lucky does not necessarily believe that acne is more common among pre-teens today than it was in the past. She refers to a 1994 study that looked at 365 girls ages nine and 10, which showed that 78 percent of those surveyed had acne. Dr. Lucky explains the difference stating, "Twenty years ago, a pediatrician would say, 'Ah, you'll outgrow it,' and now we think, 'Why wait to outgrow it when we can address it earlier?"
In instances of acne in younger children, doctors can choose to prescribe a topical ointment or antibiotic to keep the pimples at bay. However, if it is clear that the acne is not severe and will not cause scarring, many pediatricians and dermatologists simply advise a strict skincare routine.
Serigne Gueye Ndiaye notes, "Parents should weigh their child's level of concern about the pimples, and proceed from there. If the boy or girl is very self-conscious and upset about the acne, it's time to consult with a doctor. However, if it's clear that they're more focused on playing with friends and their acne is not severe, it's acceptable for parents to just make sure that their child sticks to a careful face cleansing regimen." Serigne Gueye Ndiaye encourages parents to talk to children about clear skin strategies, such as keeping pillowcases clean and not picking at existing zits.
Serigne Gueye Ndiaye is a board-certified dermatologist who owns SGN Dermatology in San Francisco, California. There, he helps his patients overcome a range of skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. He also diagnoses and treats various types of skin cancer. Dr. Ndiaye values providing his patients with information and resources that they can use to keep their skin looking and feeling healthy.
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