My 17-year-old son has been suffering from severe acne since his early teens. A local dermatologist diagnosed him with Pyoderma Faciale. Could you explain what this is?

Pyoderma Faciale (PF) is considered to be mainly affecting women between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Your son is most likely suffering from Severe Nodulocystic Acne, which in its worst form is medically known as Acne Conglobata. It is manifested by sudden onset of acutely inflamed papules, pustules, cysts and painful coalescing nodules appearing on a background of a purplish red erythema on the face. The real cause of PF still remains largely unknown. However, hormonal, immunological and vascular factors have been suspected as a major influence. In many cases, severe form of Extremely Inflamed Rosacea has been considered closely connected with the causation of PF. The treatment consists of an initial dose of oral antibiotics together with low dose corticosteroids for a couple of weeks. After achieving initially desired suppression of the severely inflamed phase of the condition, we then prescribe the next course of medication. The treatment protocol needs to be instituted and monitored by an experienced dermatologist.

What sunscreens are best for infants and children?

Ideally, babies under six months should not spend time directly in the sun. Since babies' skin is much more sensitive than adults, sunscreens should be avoided if possible. Instead, the best sun protection for babies is to keep them in the shade as much as possible and dress them in long sleeves, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Sunscreen can be applied to exposed skin not covered by clothing on toddlers and infants six months or older. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are most appropriate for the thinner skin of toddlers and infants six months or older since they do not penetrate the skin and are less likely to cause irritation.

What age does acne stop?

This is a difficult question to answer because it’s different for everyone. On average, most people who are teenagers will get a bit of acne and it is generally teenagers who suffer from the condition, however it can affect anyone from any age, right from being a baby all the way through to retirement age. The good news is acne can easily be treated and controlled and for severe disease we can use powerful treatments such as retinoids to bring a permanent solution.