Common Myths about Acne
Acne is a common skin condition, affecting roughly 50 million people in the United States annually. Why, then, is it still so largely misunderstood? Several myths persist about acne, some of which can actually cause people to damage their skin further. Here, we’d like to clear up these misconceptions and offer real solutions for managing your acne.
- Myth 1: Acne is caused by a dirty face. This myth causes harm in a variety of ways. First, it causes people to overwash their skin, which can actually lead to more breakouts. Further, it promotes the idea that a person with acne is dirty when even clear skin can be affected by breakouts. It is true that washing your face removes bacteria, but washing it twice a day with a gentle cleanser is sufficient.
- Myth 2: Your diet is causing your acne. There is a mixture of truth and falsehood that goes along with this one. For some people, milk can cause an acne flare-up. There’s no evidence, that eating greasy foods can cause acne. There is a chemical in chocolate that will cause breakouts if eaten in copious amounts, but if you are getting breakouts after eating chocolate that is probably not the reason. The truth is that sugar can cause inflammation in the body, and acne is an inflammatory condition. So, if you notice more acne when you eat fast food or chocolate, sugar is probably the culprit.
- Myth 3: Only teenagers get acne. this is wildly inaccurate. The most common skin disease, acne affects people of all ages, including 30% of adults. It’s more common in teenagers, affecting 85%, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only ones who suffer from it.
- Myth 4: The sun will clear your acne. There is some truth to this, in that sun exposure decreases inflammation in the body, making acne less apparent. However, the sun won’t actually make acne go away, and the skin damage caused by exposure to UV rays Is not worth the temporary relief.
- Myth 5: Sunscreen causes acne. This goes hand in hand with the last myth, and again, there’s a kernel of truth here. Some people are sensitive to chemical sunscreen and may experience breakouts when they use it. If you have sensitive skin, you may have more success with a physical sunscreen like zinc oxide. It’s very important to protect your skin when you’re out in the sun, using sunscreen with at least 15 SPF.
- Myth 6: There are treatments to clear acne overnight. People use all kinds of home remedies to try to clear up acne, including toothpaste, Windex, and tea bags. The truth is that household items like this are not safe for your skin, and you’re better off with a spot treatment containing salicylic acid. You won’t be able to see results overnight, but consistency will pay off.
- Myth 7: You can physically remove acne from your skin. This idea causes people to roughly scrub, exfoliate, and squeeze pimples, but these things are not effective. In fact, squeezing pimples triggers an inflammatory response, and when you use your fingers, you can introduce more bacteria into the pimple. If you’d like a blemish extracted, make an appointment with your dermatologist.
- Myth 8: Makeup causes acne. if you are experiencing breakouts due to makeup, you are probably using the wrong makeup. Oil-free, lightweight foundations shouldn’t cause any issues, and there are even foundations on the market now that can help treat acne. Leaving makeup on your face at night, however, can cause a breakout, so make sure you always wash your face before you go to bed.
- Myth 9: There’s nothing you can do for acne except wait to outgrow it. Some people never outgrow acne. More to the point, there are very effective treatments available, so you don’t have to simply suffer through it. Your dermatologist can help you manage your acne using treatments that include topical medications, cleansers, moisturizers, and oral medications.
Whenever you need help caring for your skin, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.