Blackheads, which are a form of acne, appear in teenagers often due to hormonal surges. This can happen to preteens as young as 10 years old. Blackhead problems occur when sebum production in the skin cause an excess build-up of natural oil. Then, dead skin cells along with air pollutions collect on the skin and cling to the excess sebum. The sebum clogs pores and hardens, causing "dirty" looking plugs to develop.
Steam the child's face with very hot tap water to soften present blackheads. Lean his or her head close to the sink so that the steam from the water drenches the face for 2 or 3 minutes.
Exfoliate his or her face with an over-the-counter salicylic acid or apply honey to the face for 10 minutes. This will open pores and soften the blackheads for deep cleansing.
Rinse the salicylic acid or honey off his or her face and with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Do not scrub the face as this will damage already stressed skin.
Apply over-the-counter medicated facial lotion that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. The acne medication will cause excess oil to dry and help slough off dead skin.
See a dermatologist if the problem persists or gets worse.
Have the child drink lots of water. This keeps the skin hydrated from the inside in addition to treating it topically.
Avoid make-up, heavy lotions and oil-based soaps. Keep hair and hands clean as well as away from the face to prevent extra oils from contributing to the problem.
Wash the face with a gentle soap after exercising. Sweat can contribute to the blackhead problem if not rinsed off as soon as possible.
Do not squeeze or pick at blackheads.