And what about food? "The medical community has swung back and forth on that over the years," Pariser said. Years ago, people thought that certain foods, like chocolate, sugar and iodine, promoted breakouts, but studies starting in the late 1960s failed to confirm that.
"The idea that food plays a role became relegated to myth," Eichenfield said. But recently, he added, some researchers have been revisiting the issue. There is some evidence that a sugary diet may promote acne, for example. But for now, it's not clear whether any diet changes will actually help keep kids' skin clear, Eichenfield said.
The bottom line, he said, is that many treatment options are available. "There's no reason that children have to live with acne that is severe and troubling to them," he said.
Learn more about acne from the U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
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