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Cystic Acne in Kids and Teens



Cystic Acne in Kids & Teens

Acne outbreaks can cause teens quite a bit of stress. Most times, the whiteheads and blackheads will come and go and any embarrassment is quickly forgotten. However, acne can develop into cystic acne, and it can become serious. Unlike typical acne, cystic acne results in large, painful pimples deep under the skin. These acne cysts are often filled with fluid and are more likely to cause scarring.

It's important to recognize cystic acne and understand the steps needed to prevent and minimize blemishes, scarring and self-esteem issues in kids and teens.

The Causes of Cystic Acne

Acne cysts are caused by pores becoming clogged as hair follicles combine with makeup, oils and bacteria. This causes the middle layer of skin (the dermis) to swell. There are several factors that affect the severity of cystic acne:

  • Hormonal changes that happen during puberty
  • Makeup that blocks pores
  • Improper washing or hygiene
  • Family history of cystic acne

How to Prevent Cystic Acne (and Typically Acne)

While getting your child to follow a skincare routine can be challenging, it's important to do so if they want to avoid an outbreak.

  • Use face wash, morning and night (makeup removing wipes are not face wash).
  • Use benzoyl peroxide for oily skin. If the Benzoyl peroxide makes your face dry, use a moisturizer afterwards.
  • Use salicylic acid for sensitive skin.
  • Exfoliate several times a week.
  • Shower or bathe after practices, games or any strenuous activity.
  • Keep things that touch the face clean—pillowcases, cell phones, etc.
  • Develop good coping mechanisms to handle stress and emotions from hormonal changes.

How to Treat Cystic Acne

At the first sign of a pimple, use an over-the-counter medication to prevent it from getting worse. Read the package ingredients. They should contain the following:

  • Benzoyl peroxide, an antiseptic
  • Helps shed dead skin and excess oil
  • Salicylic acid, also called beta hydroxy acid
  • Helps remove dead skin
  • Retinoids, from Vitamin A  
  • Help clean out pores

​When to Call Boys Town Pediatrics​

If your child's acne isn't responding to these preventive measures and treatments after several months, or if the outbreaks are frequent and severe, you should contact your Boys Town Pediatrician. 

Health;Skin Care Pediatrics