How to handle acne in a 6 year old?

Updated on January 03, 2009
K.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
6 answers

My 6 year old daughter seems to have a mild case of acne or some other type of little bumps on her forhead and chin. She also gets black heads in her ears. I have mentioned it to her doctor but she doesn't seem to think it's anything to worry about. My only concern is that she has had a couple kids in her class ask her what the little bumps on her face are. We have tried washing her face daily, but it almost seems to be making it worse. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Acne will get worse many times before it gets better. It will as the dirt starts coming to the surface before it gets washed away. Just have her continue to wash a few times a day with soap and water. If it persists, consult a doctor.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I was thinking this sounded like eczema too. My daughter has this but not on her face.

Try Eucerin Creme you can buy the generic at Walmart and it works just the same and put it on her face, if it goes away or gets better you'll know that's what it is. If it get's worse take her to a dermatologist maybe.



answers from Madison on

The eczema response would be an appropriate response, although I always thought eczema was more of a dry skin/scaly/flaky type of skin disorder. A creamy moisturizer, in that case, would work. Psoraisis (sp) would be another thought, but it sounds like she doesn't have patches of extreme dryness or cracking.

Six years old is awful young, but children are also known to get what's called (acne) rosacea. In this case, though, the bumps are not acne/blackheads/pimples/
whiteheads, etc. and are rounded, rather than coming to a "point." If it is rosacea, the normal "acne" treatments can irritate and make the rosacea even worse. I know, because I have rosacea and am trying to recover from a severe flare up brought about by some detoxing I've had to do.

I would do some Internet exploring on these three types of dermatological problems and see if any of the symptoms/photos look like what your daughter has. Another thing that can cause a skin outbreak would be if she's sensitive to any foods; the body's defense in trying to detox or rid the body of the food it doesn't like could very well result in a skin outbreak.

On another subject...

My daughter had what I thought might have been chicken pox, as she was starting to get red spots all over her body. (She's had the original and the booster varicella vaccine). However, the spots weren't blistering in the middle, like the chx pox does. So, with the clinic closed at noon yesterday, I had to take her to Urgent Care to find out a specific diagnosis.

She has something called Pityriasis Rosea, which I have never heard of before, nor have I ever known anyone who's had it. Apparently, though, according to the doctor, it's fairly common in the 6-10 year old bracket (and all the way up to 30 yrs old). Instead of getting the characteristic blister in the middle, like a chx pox does, these spots get a dry skin center, which can flake off.

This Pityriasis Rosea also acts like chx pox in that some children get a very mild form, while others get a really extreme case. Researchers still do not know what causes it (although there's speculation it could be a mycoplasma, picornavirus, or the human herpesviruses 6 or 7), and there is no cure other than to let it run its course, which is anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months. It is NOT contagious, although it can get itchy. Best defense is to put a creamy moisturizer on each spot at bed time, to help alleviate the itching from the spots drying up, and give Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl for extreme itchiness.

Sigh. My daughter was one of the few babies the doctors had seen where the little red spots/dots from Roseola were so very pronounced; we thought she had chx pox then, too.

Fifth disease, hand-and-foot, Roseola, Pityriasis Rosea -- I don't remember ever hearing about these disorders, or even knowing someone who'd had them, when I grew up (I'm dating myself when I say it's been 40 years...). Makes you wonder how come all of these disorders are now becoming so prevalent.


answers from Davenport on

I don't know about the ears, but on the face, that's definatly a type of dry skin rash. My daughter gets these too, though not generally on her face, she does get it all over her arms and legs. Exposure to sunlight will help this (exzema patients are told to expose their skin to sunlight as the vitamins that the skin absorbs from the sun are the only known help and no, sunlamps do not make a good substitute for natural sunlight). A friend of mine, who has exzema, also washes with goats milk soap. She swears by it as it doesn't irritate her skin and has found it quite soothing. You might also try using a light facial moisturizer on her as well (Ponds works well for me, light but moisturizing). For my daughter, we use Aquaphilic. It's a type of lotion that comes in a jar and can be found at most any pharmacy ($7/jar and it lasts a good while-making it worth the money) but as I said, my daughter gets all over her legs and arms...winter is the worst time for this.

You also might try calling a local ENT specialists office and/or a dermatologists and ask to speak to a nurse....explain to them what is going on and how your doctor doesn't seem concerned and you simply want to know what they think, is it something they would recomend you bring her in for or not...this way you will know if this is something to talk to your doctor about again or not.

If worse comes to worse, press the issue with your doctor and ask her to recomend a dermatologist. I've had to switch doctors to ensure my kids got the help they needed...took me two years and many many doctors to get my son diagnosed with asthma because back then, they didn't think that someone under the age of 5 could have it...when he was finally diagnosed, he stopped getting so seriously sick all the time (asthma runs heavily in our family so I knew what he had, just couldn't find someone to treat him for it). Good luck to ya hun! :)



answers from Milwaukee on

Acne will get worse many times before it gets better. It will as the dirts starts coming to the surface before it gets washed away. Just have her continue to wash a few times a day with soap and water.



answers from Milwaukee on

Our daughter had the same thing when she was little. But the little bumps that we thought were acne, were actually excema. We lotioned her and the bumbs went away. We alos switched all the cleaning products in our home, especially our laundry soap. Try switching your laundry soap. She might have an allergy to the clothing, bedding, towels, etc from your laundry soap.

Let me know if you want to know more!

Best of luck and Happy New Year!




answers from Minneapolis on

It could be the soap you are using. Try using a mild brand that is easy on the skin such as nutregena, or from a company like Arbonne, Melaluca, or Daisy Blue.

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