Is 13 Too Young To Try More Intense Treatment For Acne Scars?

My son had a short lived battle with acne, but it has left lots of scarring on one cheek. He is taking doxycycline and using retin-A. He has lots of PIH and about 5 large poc marks. He also has lots of smaller scars. I don't want to waste time because I know since his skin is young, it has a greater rejenerative property. Is he too young for any procedures? Is there anything else he should be doing?

Doctor Answers 4

Treating Acne Scars in a 13 Year Old

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Provided that your sons acne is now currently under control, it isn't technically too early to start treatment, provided he is mentally prepared. Laser treatments are the most effective means of doing this, but it can also be slightly painful and stressful for someone young. Depending on his maturity level, you may want to just wait it out and work on helping him maintain confidence in the meantime. The most important thing now is to prevent further breakouts and minimize damage by eliminating picking/poking, etc. 

Best of luck! 

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Acne scars at 13 years of age

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Ultimately you need pictures to really decide. But his scars could get better over time. the pigmentation issues can be improved with topicals as the others suggested. You can even do chemical peels to help the skin turnover and get lighter faster. IPL is another way to help decrease pigments. The scars have a lot of options for treatment.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Treating Acne Scars In Young Patients

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I entirely agree with Dr. Sheri Feldman's answer. I have a very busy acne practice and do a tremendous amount of work treating acne scarring as well. At this point, given that he is on doxycycline and applying RetinA, both of which are helpful for acne but also potentially irritating in the sun, he absolutely needs to be careful with his sun exposure. As she mentioned, sun can also exacerbate the discoloration secondary to acne. I do not feel he is necessarily too young to consider treatments for addressing the acne scars; however, I do agree with her comment that young skin is forgiving. A lot of his scars may improve on their own with time (you may have heard of the phrase "tincture of time").  Regardless, he needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist experienced in treating acne scars.  Good luck!



Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Treatment for Acne Scars in a 13 Year Old

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The number one thing your son should be using is sunscreen.  Hopefully the Doxycycline and the Retin-A are preventing further breakouts, but both are photo sensitizing.  If he already has PIH, we want to prevent more pigmentation by using sunscreen.  As far as the scarring you describe, this needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist.  Young skin is very forgiving.  He may do fine on his own!

Sheri G. Feldman, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

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