Juvenile acne: what it is, causes, remedies and treatments to reduce it

What is juvenile acne?

Juvenile acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are the areas around the base or root of each hair. Sebaceous glands are small glands that release sebum into hair follicles.

Acne occurs in children and young people between the ages of 11 and 30, although it most often starts at puberty. It occurs when pores become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum.

There is also prepubertal acne, classified as follows:

  • Neonatal acne : starting from birth up to 6 weeks of age. It takes the form of comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) extending from the scalp, upper chest and back, and inflammatory lesions (erythematous papules and pustules) on the cheeks, chin and forehead. It usually does not cause scarring. It affects predominantly males.
  • Infantile acne: This iform is rare and occurs from 6 weeks to 1 year of age. It presents as comedones, papules, pustules, and occasional nodules. It predominantly affects the cheeks and occasionally leaves scars. Infantile acne can rarely persist until puberty. Males are much more affected than females.
  • Mid-childhood acne: It occurs at 1-6 years of age and is very rare.
  • Pre-adolescent acne: it may manifest from age 7 to 12. In this range it may be the first sign of puberty. It shows up in the form of comedones in the T-zone, the area that covers the mid-forehead and midsection of the face.

Did you know that snail slime cream is among the most useful cosmetics against acne? In fact, snail slime is rich in glycolic acid, a natural exfoliant, and allantoin, soothing and regenerating. Click here: " Snail slime for acne and pimples " to find out more!

What does juvenile acne look like?

  • Whiteheads: or closed comedones. They are formed from keratin, sebum and bacteria accumulated inside the hair follicles.
  • Blackheads: or open comedones. They are formed due to impurities that clog the pores of the skin. The black color is not an indication of dirt. It can be due to bacteria, dead skin cells, and substances that react with oxygen.

Acne inflammation

Inflamed acne causes red, painful bumps or sores. The sores can be infected with bacteria. Acne inflammation occurs as:

  • Pustules: Bacteria cause inflammation of the hair follicle. The pustules are closer to the skin surface.
  • Papules: The wall of the hair follicle becomes irritated. The papules are deeper in the skin.
  • Nodules: These are larger, deeper, and firmer.
  • Cysts: these are nodules with pus.

Severity levels of juvenile acne

girl with juvenile acne

Acne is classified into four grades. Dermatologists evaluate the types of comedones present, the amount of inflammation, how widespread acne is, and which areas of the body are affected.





Mild acne


Moderate acne


Moderate to severe acne


Severe (cystic) acne

  • Grade I acne This is the mildest form of acne. In this condition the skin will show blackheads, whiteheads and occasionally minor pimples. There is no inflammation (minimal redness and swelling). Grade I acne can usually be cleared up with over-the-counter medications.
  • Grade II acne: This is considered moderate acne. There are more blackheads and whiteheads on the skin than in grade I. Papules and pustules are found more frequently. It can also be treated with over-the-counter products. However, if there is no improvement after 6-8 weeks, see your doctor.
  • Grade III acne: This is considered moderate to severe acne. The difference between grade II and grade III acne is the amount of inflammation present. Papules and pustules are more numerous and there is a greater amount of redness on the skin. Nodules are often present. This type of acne should be evaluated by your dermatologist, as it can be painful and leave scars.
  • Grade IV acne: This is the most severe form, also known as cystic acne. The skin will show many nodules, pustules and cysts. Blackheads and whiteheads are usually numerous. The inflammation is more pronounced and the acne spreads to areas other than the face, such as the neck, upper chest and back. It must be treated by a dermatologist.

What are the causes of juvenile acne?

The causes of acne are not yet known for certain, although hormones called androgens, which increase in both boys and girls during puberty, may play a role in its formation. Androgens make the sebaceous glands in the skin larger and therefore more sebum is produced.

Genetics can play a role, too: if parents used to have acne, their children could inherit that tendency.

Certain medications (such as androgens taken as medicines, epilepsy medications, lithium, and prednisone) can cause acne. Oily cosmetics can clog pores. Water-based products are less likely to cause acne than oil-based makeup.

To sum up: juvenile acne is related to the following causes:

  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and the menstrual cycle.
  • Increasing levels of male sex hormones (androgens) in boys and girls during puberty, which causes more sebum and more dead skin cells.
  • Make-p or cosmetics that block pores.
  • Clothes that chafe or irritate the skin.
  • High levels of humidity in the air and perspiration.
  • Taking certain medicines, such as corticosteroids.

What are the symptoms of juvenile acne?

Acne can occur anywhere on the body, although it is more common in areas where there are more sebaceous glands, such as:

  • Face
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Upper part of the back

Symptoms can manifest themselves in different ways, which vary according to the severity of the condition:

  • White dots
  • Black dots
  • Papules
  • Red pimples filled with pus
  • Large, firm, painful nodules under the skin's surface
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps under the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)

Read also: Fighting acne and scars: the best creams for oily skin

How is juvenile acne diagnosed?

Acne can be diagnosed by looking at the skin in the mirror. Symptoms can include blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes inflamed nodules or cysts. All of these symptoms occur due to a blocked pore.

Mild acne often doesn't require medical attention and can be treated at home using over-the-counter products. However, when in doubt, it is best to consult a dermatologist.

The dermatologist will make a simple visual inspection. There is no test for acne. Your doctor may rarely take a swab or scrape a pustule for a microbiological test or culture to rule out other sources of infection.

Juvenile acne treatments

There are several treatments to reduce acne:

  • Nonprescription topical treatments: These include acetic acid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur. These treatments come in many forms including gels, lotions, creams, soaps. When these products are used regularly, they are moderately effective in treating acne. It may take 4-8 weeks for the skin condition to improve.
  • Prescription topical treatments: These include adapalene, antibiotics, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, dapsone, tazarotene, and tretinoin.
  • Prescription oral drug treatments: For people with moderate to severe acne, doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics (pills), in addition to topical medications, taken daily for 4 to 6 months and then stopped as acne improves.
  • Treatments at the dermatologist: Cysts can be treated with a series of intralesional injections of cortisone. A red light therapy can be used to reduce inflammation and bacteria on the skin.

Home treatments to reduce juvenile acne

  • Diet: It is not clear what role diet plays in worsening acne. Scientists have found that people who consume a diet that provides a good supply of vitamin A , vitamin E and zinc may run a lower risk of severe acne.
  • Moisturizers: They can soothe the skin, especially in people using acne treatment such as isotretinoin. Moisturizers containing aloe vera at a concentration of at least 10 percent or witch hazel may have a soothing and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Tea: Tea polyphenols, including green tea, applied in a topical preparation may be beneficial in reducing sebum production and treating acne. However, the compounds in this case were extracted from the tea, rather than using the tea directly.
  • Green tea: it is very rich in antioxidants. Applying it directly to the skin is beneficial, because the flavonoids and tannins in green tea are known to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, two major causes of acne. The main antioxidant in green tea – epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) – can reduce sebum production, fight inflammation and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in people with acne-prone skin.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is known for its ability to fight many types of bacteria and viruses and contains several organic acids that kill Propionibacterium Acnes, now known as Cutibacterium acnes, which leads to various infections, including acne. Mix it with water and apply to the skin with a cotton ball.
  • Honey and Cinnamon: These are excellent sources of antioxidants and can reduce acne on the skin. They also have the ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation: two factors that trigger acne. 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon are mixed to form a paste, which, when applied to the face, must be left on to act for 10-15 minutes.
  • Aloe vera: tropical plant whose leaves produce a clear gel, often added to lotions, creams, ointments and soaps. It is commonly used to treat abrasions, rashes, burns and fight inflammation. Aloe vera also contains salicylic acid and sulfur, both of which are used extensively in the treatment of acne.
  • Exfoliate your skin regularly: This is the process of removing the top layer of dead skin cells and can be done mechanically using a brush or a face scrub (such as snail slime face scrub ) to physically remove the cells. Alternatively, it can be chemically removed by applying an acid that dissolves them. Exfoliation can improve acne by removing skin cells that clog pores.

Acne prevention tips

  • Do not overwash your skin or use harsh scrubs. Acne is not caused by dirt. Two delicate washes a day are sufficient. Too much cleansing can leave your skin irritated and dry, triggering the glands to produce more sebum and, therefore, increasing the likelihood of pimples forming.
  • Use oil-free or non-comedogenic (ones that do not clog pores) products on your face.

Living with juvenile acne: tips to prevent this condition from worsening

  • Don't pop or squeeze acne, as this can spread the infection and cause scarring.
  • Talk to your dermatologist if over-the-counter treatments don't work.
  • In case of severe or long-lasting acne, consult a dermatologist.
  • If needed, treat acne a few times a week to prevent it from coming back.
  • Treat your skin regularly and gently.

The myths about acne

The following factors have a minor effect on the formation of acne:

  • Fatty foods. Eating fatty foods has little or no effect on acne. Working in the kitchen, for example, can lead to blocked hair follicles from fried oil. Fat can stick to the skin and block the hair follicles. which further irritates the skin or promotes acne.
  • Hygiene. Acne is not caused by dirty skin. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse.
  • Cosmetics. Cosmetics don't necessarily make acne worse, especially by using oil-free makeup that does not clog pores (non-comedogenic) and by removing makeup regularly.

← Older Post Newer Post →

€10 discount for you
Subscribe to Nuvò newsletter and receive a €10 coupon, which can be used on your first order, as well as offers and wellness advices