Medical Q&As

Acne / self care

My son aged 12 years has some acne spots. What can I do to help him?

If the acne were very mild it would be reasonable to speak to your local chemist and obtain his advice. There are several odourless, clear coloured preparations available over the counter that may help to control the acne. The use of detergent cleanser on the skin may also be helpful. Again, your chemist can advise you on this. If these measures are unsuccessful and the acne is becoming more extensive then you should bring your son to see your GP who would most likely prescribe a topical application containing a low dose antibiotic. It is important to avoid picking or scratching as this can cause infection, which in turn may leave a permanent blemish on the skin. It is also most important that your son realise that we cannot cure acne and eliminate it permanently but we can most definitely control it. This message is often unacceptable to young people who can become very embarrassed with acne.