One of my friends recently took her 8-year old daughter in to see a dermatologist about the small white bumps that had appeared on her cheeks. I was horrified when she emerged with a prescription for Acutane.
Putting an 8-year old on Acutane, a serious acne medication whose side effects include photosensitivity (easily sunburned), depression, eating disorders, joint pain, seizures, cracked skin, and causes such severe birth defects that you must sign a waiver if you are of childbearing age (not that this 8-year old is likely to become pregnant, but this is one strong drug) is simply irresponsible, in my opinion.
Drugs.com says: Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms. Acutane has been linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease and may have other long term effects.
Truly, these little whitehead pimples don’t really even qualify as “acne”.
When I was 7 or 8, I noticed the same little white bumps splayed across my cheeks. My mother took me into the dermatologist, too. The difference was that my dermatologist recognized the benefits of exfoliation over medication for these little clogged pores.
He sent me home with my first Buf Puf and a recommendation to switch to Dove soap because it was less drying than the Ivory we had always used. I was to wash my face every night before bed and use the soapy Buf Puf to gently exfoliate my cheeks.
Lo and behold: no more white bumps!
Ok, this was in the 70s and soap technology has come a long way from Ivory and Dove, but the need to exfoliate remains. That visit to the doctor started me off early on caring for the skin on my face through daily exfoliation. As I got older I followed with a toner and moisturizer.
It’s still the same today, albeit with different products.
Aside from scattered, random clogged pores here and there, my face has always been smooth and blemish-free. That I’ve yet to find a wrinkle in my 40s I attribute to a combination of good genes and a lifetime of constant, dedicated skincare, including regular exfoliation.
Lately, we’ve noticed the same white bumps on my 7-year old son’s cheeks. I picked up a Buf Puf for him and taught him how to use it with a gentle, petroleum-free, fragrance-free soap. While he’s not a daily Buf Puffer yet, the once or twice a week that he uses it is enough to keep his cheeks smooth and bump-free. He may need to exfoliate more frequently as he enters his teens, but he already knows what to do and is accustomed to doing it.
All predictions point toward clear-skinned teen years and beyond if he keeps up this easy skincare routine.
Be sure to rinse your Buf Puf well, squeeze well, and allow to dry fully between uses to avoid mildew or bacterial growth. Replace frequently as needed.