What is acne infantum?Acne infantum is an age-related subtype of the widespread skin disease acne that affects toddlers aged three to six months.
Acne is the most common skin disorder ever. Looking at an entire life, more than 85 percent of all people are affected by it, which in most cases is linked to the influence of certain sex hormones. The skin disease is differentiated on the one hand according to severity and on the other according to the age of the patients. The term Acne infantum is an age-related subtype of the disease.
The physician understands acne in pre-pubertal childhood. This dermatological phenomenon is also referred to as acne infantilis or toddler acne. This is to be distinguished from the neonatal acne, the so-called acne neonatorum in babies before the third month of life.
The infant acne occurs in children between the third and sixth month of life. Boys are more affected by acne infantum than girls, which is generally claimed to be acne. Particularly severe forms of the acne infantum are also called acne conglobata infantum.
The causes of acne infantum have so far been poorly understood. Above all, the temporarily high production of androgens, ie male sex hormones, is discussed. In this context, the phenomenon may also be symptomatic of a hormone-producing tumor, which has to be clarified in an endocrinological examination.
The so-called adrenogenital syndrome may also be associated with symptoms of acne infantum, an autosomal recessive inherited metabolic disease that hinders hormone synthesis in the adrenal cortex. The most common cause of acne infantum, but also neonatal acne, however, is a congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
This is usually temporary and usually normalizes over a period of six to nine months. Sometimes comedogenic cosmetics can give birth to the image of an acne infantum. When heavily oily skin care products are used, dermatological changes often occur.
Like any acne disorder, acne infantum is thought to be associated with hormonal processes and is found in papules and pustules of the face and cheeks in particular, with severe forms including deep-seated fistulas and inflammatory nodules that later leave scars on the skin.
Symptoms, complaints & signs
Acne infantum is a dermatological disease of the facial skin. As a rule, most of the skin changes, especially on the cheekbones, show up. These lesions may be of different shapes depending on the severity of the disease.
Most of them express themselves as dense comedones or in the form of numerous papules and pustules. Apart from this, however, inflammatory nodules sometimes appear in the acne infantum, which are particularly deep and usually melt away. Especially the latter symptoms leave later scars that can be minimized by a suitable therapy.
Diagnosis & History
The doctor usually makes the diagnosis of infant acne via gaze diagnostics. The history helps him to rule out causes such as the use of comedogenic cosmetics. Since, in differential diagnosis, he also has to rule out tumors and symptoms such as the adrenogenital symptom, he usually also assigns extensive examinations from the field of endocrinology.
In most cases, Acne infantum heals completely within a few months with appropriate treatment measures and does not leave any serious scars behind. However, in severe cases healing can take several years, with especially deep-lying nodules and fistulae leaving behind facial scars.
When should you go to the doctor?
The toddler acne is a phenomenon that affects preferably children in the age of three to six months. To clarify the cause of this skin disease and to find an appropriate treatment, the affected child should be presented to the dermatologist or pediatrician. If necessary, the child's mother will refer the child to the endocrinologist or dermatologist.
The point here is to make the consequences of hormonal-related symptoms as small as possible. The acne infantum can lead to severe inflammation on the facial skin of infants. These do not just hurt. They can also be scratched by the child and lead to fistulas or boils of the facial skin. If left untreated, deep scar craters may result. It would be stressful for the child in any way not to be treated promptly by a doctor.
With slight progressions of the acne infantum, it may be sufficient to observe the skin. However, as it may be the result of another condition, the doctor's visit is a better choice given the young age of the patient. Whether a treatment of the affected skin or antibiotic therapy are appropriate, the treating specialist should decide. A self-treatment of toddler acne mother would rather not dare. It may be that the acne infantum indicates a different disease as a symptom.
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When making a prognosis of infant acne or Acne Infantum the disease is significantly involved. However, each of these cases, whether mild or severe, is in the care of a physician. In mild cases, the small red pimples with yellow nodes in the middle heal completely.
In addition, the chances of complication-free recovery increase as soon as you put a clean towel under the infant's cheek to catch the saliva before it touches the skin. In addition, pimples and pustules must never be expressed. The chances of getting acne vulgaris during puberty are also very high.
The common acne is triggered by hormonal changes during puberty and is treatable with the help of a doctor. Untreated, however, pimples and pustules accompany the young patient until the end of his twenties, in rare cases even up to 40 years. This leaves behind large, scarred areas and an often stung self-esteem. Here then a psychic therapy would be indicated for medically necessary.
Treatment & Therapy
The conventional therapy for acne infantum corresponds to an external therapy, which mainly encompasses regular and mild skin cleansing. Greasy products must be avoided. Instead, benzoyl peroxide such as acne oxide is applied to the affected skin in low concentration. As an alternative, cream products with azelaic acid are available, such as Skinoren cream.
Since toddlers have a significantly thinner skin and thus higher absorption rate than adults or adolescents, the doctor must plan the concentrations and duration of use of the products in advance as carefully as possible.
In more severe forms of acne infantum systemic antibiotic therapy is used, which should primarily counteract the inflammatory processes and thus prevent scarring. Often erythromycin is used in this context, which is usually given twice a day.
Outlook & Forecast
In most cases, the Acne Infantum refers to another underlying disease, which is why the treatment of this disease is usually causally. The person suffering from pustules and papules, which may also be associated with pain. The symptoms can, however, be remedied and limited by proper treatment so that there are no particular complications for the patient.
Likewise, in severe cases, scarring and wounds can develop and remain in adulthood. Usually, the treatment takes place by the intake of healthy food. Furthermore, the complaints can be reduced and treated by different care products.
If the Acne Infantum is caused by a particular food or by a particular ingredient, parents must consider this in the diet to prevent the symptoms and discomfort. Likewise, the patient's hormone status can be checked to avoid the same symptoms in adulthood. The life expectancy of the person affected is not limited by the disease and there are usually no further complications.
Acne is difficult to prevent. However, good skin hygiene can minimize the risk of disease or at least reduce the severity of the disease. Especially water-based pH-neutral skincare products can be used in this regard.
In addition, a high glycemic food should be avoided, as this form of nutrition is particularly often associated with the appearance. Under certain circumstances, it may be useful to have the hormone status of a child determined at an early stage. Homeopathic measures may be available to regulate hormone status.
The options for follow-up are severely limited in most cases with Acne Infantum. First and foremost, the disease itself must be treated, with the aftercare also depending on whether or not the patient's face has been damaged by Acne Infantum. In most cases, the treatment of the disease is done with the help of creams, in serious cases with the help of drugs.
In children, parents should pay attention to the regular application of the creams in order to accelerate the healing process. Likewise, other creams or make-up should not be used. Above all, greasy skin products are to be avoided. The face should be protected and cleaned only with a light lotion. In the case of wounds caused by Acne Infantum, these can be treated by plastic surgery.
However, complete treatment and removal of the wounds is not always possible. It is not uncommon for Acne Infantum, especially in children and adolescents to depression or other moods. Here are discussions with the family and friends useful. Also, contact with other sufferers of the disorder can be helpful in sharing information. The life expectancy of the patient is not adversely affected by the disease.
You can do that yourself
Parents can support the healing process of their child in a diagnosed acne infantum diverse. In daily skin care, parents should pay attention to the use of mild and non-greasy products. Numerous seals of approval can make the decision when buying care products easier. Attention should be paid to the term "skin compatibility of dermatologists". Even if skin care products are offered for eczema sufferers, these products are recommended.
Furthermore, the choice of a product of natural cosmetics (ingredients from organic farming) represent a possibility. Depending on the severity of the disease, the doctor may also prescribe medically effective ointments. Parents should pay attention to a gentle dosage, as the child's skin absorbs the active ingredients significantly stronger.
With a necessary antibiotic therapy, the child's organism can be supported by an accompanying treatment with healthy intestinal bacteria. These are available in drop or powder form in the pharmacy. Furthermore, parents should pay attention to a comprehensive sun or cold protection. All factors that cause stress to the skin should be minimized. Air humidifiers or wet cloths above the radiator can be used to counteract dry room air.
When food intolerance is suspected to be the cause of skin irritation, parents must take this into account in their child's diet. If there is an imbalance in the hormone balance of the disease can be treated with homeopathic remedies (Hepar sulfuris, Silicea) supportive.