What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that is brought about by a disorder in the hair follicles (area around root of each hair) and sebaceous glands (tiny glands that release oil into the hair follicles). The condition is very common amongst children and young adults aged between 11 and 30. Often, Acne sets in at puberty though it can occur at any age.
What causes Acne?
Though the cause of acne has not been subjected to any research-driven understanding, the infection can be affiliated to:
- Washing of the skin with certain products
- High levels of humidity
- Medications such as corticosteroids
- Wearing of clothes that irritate the skin
- Use of cosmetics and makeup that block the skin pores
- Hormonal changes; during puberty, pregnancy, or menstrual cycle period
Who is at Risk?
Adolescence is the greatest risk factor for acne. Teens are at a higher risk of contracting the infection once they hit puberty.
Family history also increases the risk of contracting severe Acne.
What are the symptoms of the infection?
Even though Acne can occur in any part of the body, it is most common in the areas with the highest concentration of the sebaceous glands. Some of these areas include; chest, neck, upper-back, shoulders, as well as the face.
For each child infected with Acne, the symptoms may vary. Listed below are some of these symptoms:
- Small dark bumps on the skin
- Small white bumps on the skin
- Painful red pus-filled pimples
- Dark areas on the skin
As the Acne symptoms are quite identical to other health-related conditions, it is deemed wise to make sure that your child pays the general practitioner a visit for a better diagnosis.
How is the infection diagnosed and treated?
The general practitioner will inquire about your child’s health history and the symptoms he or she has. The GP will have to examine the body areas that have been infected. He or she may advise you to book an appointment with a dermatologist.
Treatment for Acne is dependent on the general health, age and your child’s symptoms. The severity of the infection will also determine the type of treatment to be adopted. The ultimate goal here is to improve on your child’s skin appearance and to slim the possibility of scarring. Generally, treatment for the Acne infection is inclusive of gentle and regular skin care.
Steps you can take to help clear an Acne infection
- Ensure that your child cleans up with a mild soap.
- Use water-based formulas for cosmetics.
- Avoid repeated scrubbing skin-washing.
- Ensure your child combs his or her hair backwards to keep hair out of his or her face.
Medicines to help treat Acne
In the case that the infection is persistent, your child healthcare provider may prescribe more effective medications.
- Creams and gels: – the general practitioner may prescribe creams such as Retinoic acid cream to be applied on the skin.
- Oral antibiotics: – the GP may also prescribe oral medications such as lymecycline, minocycline, or tetracycline.
- Topical antibiotics: – medications such as dapsone applied on the skin.
- Acne can spark self-esteem issues in your child
- Emotional problems are also a possibility
- Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts
- Severe and long-term Acne may lead to scarring
- Spawn of other serious infections
When should you contact your child’s general practitioner?
- When the infection is severe: – a dermatologist can help get this in control
- When the over-the-counter treatment prescriptions are not helping to clear off the acne
- Scarring: – you should seek treatment before the infection has aggravated
- When the acne has a negative effect on your child’s self-esteem
- If the infection spawned after starting a medication: – some medications to treat anxiety, or depression, may result in an Acne infection.