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12 Myths About Acne and the Truths Behind Them

skin care, acne treatment, dermatologist near me

Acne is one of the most common skin concerns, which is why there are so many myths surrounding it. If you’ve ever heard any of these 12 myths, we’ll break down the truths behind them:

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  1. Acne is Only Common in Teens

This is completely false! While acne is very common in teenagers, that doesn’t mean that it goes away when you become an adult. It also affects people of all different races and genders. In fact, 50 million Americans are affected by acne.


  1. Washing Your Face More Frequently Will Cure Your Acne

Washing your face more often will not cure acne by itself. You should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, but any more frequently than that can do more harm than good. Washing too frequently can lead to dry, irritated skin, and strip your skin of the oil it naturally produces, causing it to overproduce oil instead.


  1. Popping Your Pimples Is Ok

This is never a good idea. When you pop your pimples, it triggers an inflammatory response and opens up the pore, allowing more bacteria into your skin. It can also cause significant acne scarring.

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  1. The Sun and Tanning Beds Clear Up Acne

Although the sun can feel good on the skin, it isn’t helpful in healing acne. It can actually inflame and dry your skin out, causing your skin to produce more oil and worsening your acne. It can even worsen acne scarring.


  1. Toothpaste Is An Easy Fix

Toothpaste and other household items are not safe to use on your skin. In particular, toothpaste has fluoride which can actually make acne worse. Instead, try an acne spot treatment that contains salicylic acid.


  1. Pores Open and Close

Some people believe that the pores in your skin open when you wash your face with warm water, and stay closed when you wash your face with cold water. However, this isn’t the case. Pores do not have muscles, so they can’t open and close. Steam does loosen up the oils that have built up in your pores and once they are cleared, they can appear smaller.

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  1. Fast Food and Junk Food Causes Acne

It’s very common for people to assume that fast food is heavily correlated with acne. However, fast food and other types of junk food have not been scientifically proven to have an effect on acne. While these foods are not good for your overall health, and may cause inflammation that could potentially worsen acne, it appears that dairy is one product that has been shown in studies to trigger acne.  The key takeaway here is that bad foods can cause internal inflammation, which can flare acne. However, junk food isn’t the only bad food, so make sure you are making healthy food choices.


  1. Dirty Skin Causes Acne

Acne isn’t caused by uncleanliness. This myth is why some people tend to over wash their face, thinking that washing more frequently will cure their acne. However, as mentioned before, washing your face twice a day is plenty to remove any bacteria and surface oil.


  1. Exfoliate As Often As Possible

Exfoliating can be very satisfying because it makes you feel like you’re giving your skin the deep clean that it truly needs. But some people think that either scrubbing harder when they are exfoliating or exfoliating more often will clean their skin better. Don’t believe either of these myths! When you scrub your face too hard or with a very rough exfoliator, you aren’t washing it better. It can inflame your acne which ends up worsening it. Just like washing your face too often can do more harm than good, exfoliating too often can leave your skin sensitive and over-exfoliated. Most dermatologists recommend that you rarely exfoliate, but if you must, do so no more than 2-3 times per week.


  1. Only People with Oily Skin Have Acne

Again, just like acne affects people of all ages, genders, and races, it affects people of all skin types. All skin types can develop whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Acne is not just exclusive to people who have oily skin.


  1. Makeup Causes Acne

Makeup can irritate your skin if you are using products that don’t agree with your skin, or if you are using heavy foundations. Especially if you have sensitive skin, be aware of the ingredients of the products you are buying. We prefer powder foundations, or oil-free lightweight foundations, as thick make-up can clog pores and initiate or worsen acne. And make sure you remove your makeup every single night to remove any makeup, oil, or leftover dirt on the skin.


  1. Acne Will Go Away on Its Own

While you may have had a single pimple or two that has gone away on its own in the past, acne is chronic. It’s a condition that exists on your skin beneath the surface, so if you aren’t already taking steps to manage your acne, you should talk to a dermatologist to create a plan that works for you.


If you’ve been searching for the right solution for your acne but haven’t been able to find the one that works for you, schedule an appointment with us today!