Posts Tagged ‘ early puberty ’

Dermatologists Adopt Treatment Guidelines for Childhood Acne

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

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.

Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, a co-author of the new treatment recommendations, estimates that she now sees around 10 or 15 new cases of pediatric acne every month.

“The principals of therapy for adolescent acne and pre-adolescent acne are exactly the same,” says Zaenglein, who this week presented the information at the American Academy of Dermatology’s summer meeting. “You want to treat it as aggressively as you need to, to get it under control.”

Most of these younger children have mild acne – mostly a spattering of whiteheads and blackheads, called comedones, on the forehead, nose and chin. In these cases, the recommended treatment is an over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide; if that doesn’t work, a combination therapy involving benzoyl peroxide, an antiobiotic and/or a retinoid may be prescribed.

There’s a glimmer of an upside here: In cases of kids with acne, the parents are more likely to be more heavily involved, making sure their child sticks to the treatment prescribed by their dermatologist. But Zaenglein points out that while parents of teenagers know to watch out for skin problems, it may not occur to parents of younger children that this is a problem that may require professional care.

Image: Girl covering her face, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Acne Affecting Kids as Young as 7

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

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

Boys Experiencing Early Puberty

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

A growing number of American boys are experiencing the changes associated with puberty at an earlier age than in the recent past, in a trend that echoes what girls have been experiencing, according to a new study published in the journey Pediatrics.  From CNN.com:

In the study, lead author Marcia Herman-Giddens from the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health and her colleagues show that boys are starting to sexually develop six months to two years earlier than medical textbooks say is standard.

This research has been a long time coming. Herman-Giddens first documented early puberty in girls in 1997, and several studies have since backed up those findings.

One of the reasons it took so long to do a comprehensive study on early puberty in boys, Herman-Giddens said, is that the onset is more difficult to identify. For girls, breast development and the start of a menstrual cycle are obvious clues. For boys, the onset of puberty comes in the form of enlarged testes and the production of sperm.

Researchers responded: ” ‘Yikes, we don’t want to ask about that!’ ” Herman-Giddens said with a laugh.

But ask they did — 212 practitioners across the country examined more than 4,100 boys aged 6 to 16. The practitioners recorded information on the boys’ genital size and pubic hair appearance.

Image: Tween boy, via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Study: Fast-Paced Puberty Linked to Behavior Problems

Monday, September 5th, 2011

teensPuberty, the physical transformation from child to adult, is an epic event in a kid’s life.

A new study in the journal Developmental Psychology finds that the timing of that change (how early or late it begins) and the pace at which it takes place have a big impact on a child’s behavior and mood, The Los Angeles Times reports.

From the LA Times:

Researchers followed 364 white boys and 373 white girls for six years through puberty. In girls, they found, both an early timing of puberty (early compared with their same-age peers) and faster tempo (how fast or slow the puberty evolves from start to finish) were linked with problems related to symptoms of depression, anxiety, social withdrawal or vague physical complaints. A faster tempo was also linked to delinquent behaviors, such as lying and cheating.

In boys, faster tempo was linked to more behavioral problems. Boys who started puberty earlier than their peers and progressed through puberty faster than normal experienced the most problems.

The researchers commented that the puberty timeline can vary widely from child to child. From the LA Times:

“The thought is that when the major changes of puberty are compressed into a shorter amount of time, adolescents don’t have enough time to acclimate, so they’re not emotionally or socially ready for all the changes that happen,” the lead author of the study, Kristine Marceau, of Penn State, said in a news release. “This is the explanation that originally was attributed solely to early timing, but we suggest that the same thing also is happening if the rate of puberty is compressed.”

Readers, what do you think? What can parents do to help make these changes easier on kids?

(image via: http://www.wholeheartedparenting.com)

Add a Comment