10 Acne Myths: Dermatologists Answer Your Acne Questions

You have likely experienced acne at some point in your life. In fact, 80% of Americans will have some amount of acne on their face at a certain point in life. The widespread experience of acne and the sometimes desperate quest for a solution have led to an enormous amount of information being thrown around communities and the Internet. Although some information is universally accepted, there are always myths floating around as well. Here are 10 such myths and the truths they obscure.

Acne only affects teenagers

Movies and television have convinced many of us that acne is something that only teenagers are going to experience. However, the fact is that adults can have acne breakouts as well. In fact, it’s not unusual to see people in their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s with acne.

Acne comes from too much dirt

Although dirt does play a part in obtaining acne, its effect is minuscule. In fact, constantly washing your face to wash away dirt can lead to your skin becoming dry, and your acne becoming even worse. Acne treatment is most effective when cleansers are matched to your skin type, whether oily or dry.

Chocolate is to blame

People will swear that every time they eat chocolate, they will begin to break out. In reality, breakouts may be caused by the high amounts of sugar in chocolate and other sweets (high glycemic index foods) rather than the cocoa itself.

Only people with oily skin get acne

Another myth is that only people with oily faces get acne. While oily skin tends to be more blemish-prone, people with dry skin can also experience acne. This is because the severity of your acne is not only dependent on how oily your skin is, but also is dependent on several other factors including your family genetics, which can dictate the intensity of your skin’s natural inflammatory response.

Toothpaste is a miracle acne drug

If you search for do-it-yourself acne treatments, you may come across the toothpaste myth. This treatment is a half-truth. Although toothpaste will help to dry out the pimple, the harsh chemicals from the toothpaste can actually end up creating more pimples as they tend to clog your pores and irritate skin.

Stress causes acne

Many people will often notice that they will begin to see acne flare-ups when they become stressed out. The fact is that there is no definitive proof that stress causes acne. What stress does is make acne that you are already dealing with look worse.

Get a tan to remove acne

There’s no proof that tanning, whether sunbathing or in a tanning bed, can reduce or prevent acne breakouts. UV rays from the sun can reduce inflammation which is helpful against acne.  However , the risks of UV damage to skin are far greater than any benefit you would receive in minimizing the appearance of acne.

Pop your pimple for instant relief

For the past couple of years, social media influencers have glorified popping your pimples, but this is not something you should do. Not only does popping your pimples lead to further inflammation, but it can cause your skin to scar.

Just leave it alone, it’ll go away on its own

Although it’s not recommended to pop your pimple, you should also not neglect it. Chronic acne can be treated by a trained dermatologist, who has access to high-strength medicines and treatments to prevent acne from returning.

Acne grows overnight

It may seem like your pimple suddenly decided to pop out in the middle of the night, but the fact is that a pimple is created several days or weeks before it actually shows up.

Acne treatments in Arlington, VA

Don’t rely on dubious information circulating through social media and other places on the internet for your acne concerns. Start the conversation with our board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Ellinor Coyne and Dr. Matthew Livingood. They share years of experience treating acne-prone skin like yours. To learn what treatments can help your unique skin type and concern, contact us today to get started by calling Arlington Dermatology or scheduling an appointment online.