Acne Affecting Kids as Young as 7

Acne, once the affliction of the pre-teenager, is now affecting younger children, according to new treatment guidelines published this month in the journal Pediatrics.  The New York Times reports:

In years past, 12 was considered the lower end of the age range for the start of blackheads and whiteheads. With earlier onset of adrenarche (when the adrenal gland awakens) and menarche (first period), the authors of the guidelines suggest, “there appears to be a downward shift in the age at which acne first appears.”

“I’ve definitely seen a shift,” said Dr. Latanya T. Benjamin, a dermatologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, who did not help draft the guidelines. “It’s not uncommon for a 7- or 9-year-old to walk in with the first signs of acne.”

But whether children are experiencing early, or precocious, puberty has been the subject of scientific debate. A more likely cause of the increase in cases, some experts say, is that parents are less tolerant of acne and doctors more willing to provide powerful acne treatments to children.

Image: Girl covering her face, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Tags: , , | Categories: Child Health, Trends

Back To Parents News Now
  1. [...] Children as young as seven years old are receiving more frequent diagnoses of acne, recent research on which has prompted a group of pediatric dermatologists to establish a new set of treatment guidelines to help these young patients.  The new guidelines were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s summer meeting, and they call for aggressive and early treatment to minimize the physical and emotional scarring that can be associated with acne, especially when it comes on at an early age.  More from NBC News: Doctors believe it’s likely linked to earlier onset puberty, which causes hormones called adrenal androgens to start increasing, triggering pimples to erupt sooner on these young faces. [...]