PITTSBURGH (CBS) -- Acne is an age-old condition that many teens and older children face, but there are now new guidelines to treat it.
For several years, Nicholas Travis was embarrassed about his skin. The 15-year-old hated the severe acne he saw when he looked in a mirror.
"It was like really inflamed and painful, even to touch it," said Nicholas.
The pimples on his face, chest and back changed his behavior.
"Generally, Nicholas has been a very outgoing kid. But when the acne really got severe, he would come from school sometimes and the kids were making fun of him," said Steven Travis, Nicholas's father. "And he just felt very self-conscious."
For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics is backing new guidelines for the best acne treatment in children and teens.
"Acne and kids is really nothing new," said Dr. Whitney Bowe, of Advanced Dermatology. "But for the first time, we have enough evidence to develop evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric acne, so that's pretty exciting."
The guidelines say most cases of mild acne should be treated with over-the-counter medications that include either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
If that doesn't work, the next steps are using topical retinoids, then oral antibiotics and after that prescription drugs like Claravis.
Nicholas used a trio of treatments to clear up his acne.
"It's so much better. Like socially, I can talk to people now," he said. "You just feel a lot better about yourself."
"He had the confidence he once had. And it's because he's not self-conscious about his appearance anymore," his dad said.
That's why Nicholas's dad urges other parents to get their kids treated as quickly as possible.
The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics says doctors are seeing more and more cases of younger children with acne, possibly because kids are entering puberty earlier than in the past.
Dermatologists Discuss Treatments For Acne In Adults (5/9/13)
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