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Dermatology for Acne in Children

By Julie Webb Kelley ; Updated July 18, 2017

There are two main kinds of acne in children: comedonla acne, which is whiteheads and blackheads; and inflammatory acne, consisting of red and sometimes tender papules with pustules and cysts, according to keepkidshealthy.com. It is not uncommon for children to have a combination of both types. Regardless of the type, consulting with a pediatric dermatologist is the best way to find the right treatment for your child.

Children and Acne

A pediatric dermatologist will be able to determine if your child has comedonla acne, inflammatory acne or both. Drug-induced acne can result in children taking certain medications, including oral and topical steroids, methotrexate and some anti-seizure medications, according to keepkidshealthy.com. Under the age of four, a condition called toddler acne can occur but it is very rare, according to drgreene.com. Also, infantile acne (which occurs soon after birth) is transient and will disappear in time. Keeping the area dry and clean is important. A dermatologist will help you know the type of acne your child may have and the best treatments.

Pediatric Dermatologist

According to healthychildren.org, a pediatric dermatologist is a medical doctor trained to treat pediatric skin conditions in children. Birthmarks, eczema, warts, psoriasis or acne are common skin conditions that a pediatric dermatologist would treat. A pediatric dermatologist has gone to medical school and has completed an internship, residency training, and fellowship training.


A pediatric dermatologist will diagnosis and treat various forms of skin conditions, says healthychildren.org, including acne. Treatment of skin conditions may require prescription medications, as well as medical and/or surgical interventions. These doctors are skilled at examining children in ways that will put them at ease. They also have medical equipment available that is designed for use on children.

What Can You Expect?

According to drgreene.com, when you arrive at the dermatologist’s office, a complete medical history will be taken. Be prepared to tell what types of skin care or cosmetic products your child uses. You’ll be asked about your child’s diet and medication use. Discussing factors that can trigger flare-ups is often helpful as well. Be sure to tell the doctor if your child has had any other skin care treatment. Your child will have a thorough examination of his/her face, chest and back, as well as other areas that may have blemishes, lesion or scars.


Although acne is not a life-threatening condition, it can have serious effects on your child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being, according to drgreene.com. Acne has the potential to be painful and cause permanent scarring. Under no conditions should you squeeze the lesions, it may produce even more inflammation. Keep in mind that acne symptoms usually clear up after adolescence, but keeping it under control with the help of a dermatologist may diminish the suffering.

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