More younger children experiencing acne

It’s a problem that many people don’t face until their teenage years, but more and more children seem to be getting acne.

Normally, if girls will get acne, it won’t be until about the age of 12 or 13. For boys, it’s a little later, around the age of 16.

Some doctors across the U.S. including in La Crosse are seeing kids as young as 8 or 9 with acne, and they said it’s not necessarily a good thing.

Just last week, Mary Duh met with a young patient and her mother about what they thought was a rash.


“She started developing acne on the nose and I said, ‘That’s acne. I can treat it,'” said Duh.

Duh is a physician assistant in dermatology at Mayo Clinic Health System.

She said that patient was just 9 years old, and patients that young are slowly becoming more common.

“The youngest I’ve seen is probably 8 or 9 years old,” said Duh. “Usually, they’re female. I’ve never seen a young boy with acne that early.”

Duh said while acne isn’t exactly ideal for kids, the zits and pimples are the least of their problems.

“A lot of it, we believe is an onset of early puberty,” said Duh.

Medical experts still haven’t come to a conclusion on what causes early puberty.

“You can guess all you want, but there’s nothing that they’ve really been able to figure out,” said Revadean Quastad, a family nurse practitioner at Neighborhood Family Clinics in La Crosse.

Quastad said early puberty isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“It’s like the right thing is happening, but at the wrong time,” said Quastad.

Quastad said early puberty can stunt growth and create problems with emotions in kids.

“Obviously, children that young are not ready to deal with some of those changes that are happening within their bodies because just their mental development and everything is just not at the point it should be for those kinds of things,” said Quastad.

Quastad said while there really is no way to stop puberty, there are medications to delay it.

She recommends families to see their pediatricians if they see their child showing signs of early puberty like body odor, moodiness, hair growth and acne.

Duh said using an over-the-counter face wash regularly helps fight acne. Limiting or staying away from caffeine and eating healthy also helps.