Q. What can be done to reduce the oiliness and spotting of my of 12-year-old daughter's skin?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 07, 2022

Hello doctor,

My daughter is 12 years old and facing oily skin and spots on the forehead. What should I do to prevent this? Kindly help.



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

It is common to have acne during puberty as there will be a hormone surge during this time. Let me give you some acne information:

1. Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, pilo-hair, and sebaceous (oil-producing) glands. These pilosebaceous glands are densely distributed over the face, neck, chest, back, shoulder, and arms. It also has a genetic component, meaning the appearance or severity of acne depends on the parents' genes.

2. The sebaceous gland produces oil, which is expelled through the duct that opens on the skin's surface.

3. As long as this duct is intact, oil flows freely onto the skin. However, if there is any blockage in the duct, the oil cannot come out, then it starts irritating the surrounding skin and causes comedone (black and white heads).

4. Our skin has a harmless commensal bacteria called Propionibacterium acne (P. acne). This bacteria acts on the oil collected inside and causes inflammation leading to red bumps, pustules, cysts, and nodules as it progresses. If acne is not treated on time, it will leave scars.

5. Hormones have a strong effect on acne. Increased androgen hormone can cause thickening of the wall of the duct, leading to its blockage causing comedones (black and white heads). PCOD (Polycystic ovary disease) is the most frequent hormonal disease causing acne in teenagers and adult women.

6. Hot and humid climates, causing increased sweat, can clog the pores. Applying oil or oil-based cosmetics or steroid creams is another cause of acne. Psychological stress is one of the important factors in acne.

I would suggest the following:

1. Wash your face with mild cleansers. Use Benzoyl peroxide face wash if your face is oily. Wash your face three times a day to remove excess oil and dust which accumulates over time on the face.

2. Use a good sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) 50, and apply it to the whole face 30 minutes before you step out, irrespective of the presence of sunlight. UV (ultraviolet) rays will always be there during day hours (even if cloudy). Apply every 4 hours for maximum benefits. This is because sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays for 4 hours. Always use non-comedogenic sunscreen.

3. Do not prick or squeeze your acne. It will leave dark pigmentation and scars, which are even more difficult to treat.

4. Regular physical exercise is essential to keep hormones under check.

5. Avoid oil massage to the scalp as it will aggravate dandruff. If there is oil flow on the facial skin, it can clog the pores leading to comedones.

6. Eat vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables like papaya, mango, musk melon, pumpkin, carrot, and beetroot. They have beta-carotene in them, a good antioxidant for healthy skin. Also, drink two to three liters of water daily, which keeps the skin hydrated.

7. Always use water-based cosmetics with the “non-comedogenic” label.

8. Stress (mental as well as physical) causes acne breakouts. Meditation is very helpful for controlling mental stress.

9. Waxing irritates hair follicles and can aggravate pimples. However, threading to remove unwanted hairs over the face is fine. Threading has no effect on acne.

10. Steroid causes very bad acne, making the skin very thin and sensitive. Avoid over-the-counter steroid creams.

I hope this helps.

Thank you.

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