Treatment for Pre-Teen and Teen Acne - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
teen acne

Treatment for Pre-Teen and Teen Acne

Acne and teenagers go hand-in-hand. It’s almost a rite of passage for this age group. However, in recent years, the age of children fighting acne has dropped considerably. Children as young as seven are now developing full-blown acne which leaves parents wondering what to do for them.

Acne is becoming more common in preteens. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) completed a studied that involved 1,277 children and found more than 40% of those aged seven to nine had acne, and more than three-quarters of those aged 10 to 12 had acne.

We have seen a shift in our clinic. It’s not uncommon for a 7- or 9-year-old to walk in with the first signs of acne.

What’s causing the earlier appearance of acne? Dr. Lawrence Eichenfield, lead author of the AAP report and a pediatric dermatologist at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, believes that the reason may be that, on average, puberty is beginning earlier than in past generations.

The changes in hormones increase the activity of sebaceous glands, which means more oil secretion. Oil mixes with dead skin cells, clogging pores, trapping bacteria, and initiating breakouts. Stress and genetics can also be factors.

Fortunately, most preteen acne is mild and easily treated with a simple, pared-down regimen used consistently. More severe acne in early years can be a sign of things to come, so you definitely want to get it under control as early as possible to avoid it developing into cystic acne or scarring. However, even mild acne that is picked at, or otherwise allowed to become inflamed, can result in scarring or hyperpigmentation, so proper care in early years is crucial for healthy skin later.

Don’t wait for acne to appear before teaching your child good skin care habits.

Beginning around age nine, help your child develop good habits by washing nightly using a mild facial cleanser. Go Gently is a great choice for young skin.

At the first sign of pimples, do not attempt to dry out the skin by using a heavily medicated cleanser. Typically, over-dry skin can increase acne flare ups. We recommend adding in a medicated toner to combat the acne, followed by a light moisturizer. We recommend Stay Calm Soothing Facial Toner or Vita Tonic Purifying Toner and Matte Moisture is a great hydrator for young clients with early-stage acne.

For dark skin tones prone to hyperpigmentation or sensitive skin, use Mandelic Cleanse. This gentle acid kills acne bacteria and suppresses the pigmentation that can result from inflammation.


Start early. Developing good skin care habits before the signs of the first breakout will help avoid future breakouts and the scarring that can occur when acne gets inflamed.

Be consistent. It takes 30 days for pimples to form and come to the surface, so while the skin may look clear on the surface, the next crop of pimples is already forming underneath. Keeping pores free of dead skin cells and sebum is critical for avoiding impactions.

Don’t spot treat. Spot treating individual pimples leaves bacteria brewing in the surrounding areas. Apply products to the entire face to prevent future breakouts.

Hands off. Teach your child not to pick at pimples. Picking drives the pimple deeper, spreads bacteria, and leads to scarring.

Ice, Ice Baby! Speed healing of a pimple by rubbing ice over the area for two to three minutes before applying toner, or as needed. The ice will help reduce inflammation and enhance product absorption to optimize results.

Use sunscreen. Despite what many people think, sun doesn’t make acne better. UV exposure creates inflammation that can make acne worse and cause dark marks to be left behind once the pimples clear. Those marks are known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Beware of sweaty hats. If you notice pimples along the hairline, it could be from hats, helmets, or headbands, especially if worn during active play. Keep these items clean and wash after wearing them.

Clean up your laundry. Parents are famous for having wonderful laundry recipes to make their clothes and linens smell great. Find out how your laundry formula is probably contributing to your child’s acne by getting our free “Clear Skin Laundry Recipe” guide.

And, finally, book a consultation and treatment with us. We will teach you everything you need to do to keep your child acne-free throughout their pre-teens and teenage years.

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