If you casually catch your preteen child looking in the mirror and trying to pop a zit, don’t panic. Children are starting to hit puberty earlier, getting acne well before their teen years, suggests dermatologists. “There appears to be a trend that children are going through puberty at an earlier age, and acne can be the first sign of puberty,” Dr. Amy Derick, a dermatologist in Barrington, Ill., told CBS News Boston. Currently, eight out of 10 preteens and teens have acne in the U.S. — approximately 17 million Americans struggle with acne, reports Kids Health.org. Your preteen child is not alone in the battle against acne. Acne has now become common among children as young as seven due to the secretion of sex hormones and the earlier arrival of a girl’s first menstrual cycle, says Boston Children’s Hospital.
With the increasingly early onset of acne in children, there has been a rise in the number of preteens and teens who seek acne treatments during a visit to their pediatrician. In a study published in the journal Pediatric Dermatology, researchers evaluated the change in pattern in the onset of puberty by determining if acne is becoming increasingly prevalent at an earlier age. The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey database was used in the study for researchers to analyze acne-based physician visits from children six to 18 years old from 1979 to 2007. The results of the study showed the average age of children seeking medical treatment for acne decreased from 16 to 15 since 1979 to 2007. The finding of the study also supports the early onset of puberty in girls compared to boys.
While the rise of acne treatments among children accounts for the earlier onset of puberty, parents may also be more likely to push their children to treat their acne now rather than later. Early detection of skin diseases has become increasingly important with the availability of new technology to determine the cause of skin breakouts. Severe acne during early childhood is a significant risk factor for having severe acne during a child’s teen years and possibly well into adulthood. Findings from two studies that dealt with the onset of acne in adolescent boys and adolescent girls suggest that the best way to predict the severity of acne at age 15 is to evaluate how severe the acne in the child at age 10. The earlier acne is tackled, the better your child’s skin will look as they get older. So don’t hesitate anymore and trust Satori Laser with your child’s skin before it gets worse!