There is more fiction than fact on the internet about many things- including acne and medical issues in general. Let’s clarify some common untruths about acne!
Myth #1- “Exfoliating with scrubs will help clear acne.”
With names like “blackhead eraser” and “pore minimizing scrub” who wouldn’t want to try one to treat their acne? But unfortunately, the names don’t deliver and using harsh scrubs for sensitive acne-prone skin will typically only cause further irritation and inflammation. It may “feel” good to you, but it isn’t helpful for your skin or acne.
Myth #2- “Acne always goes away on its own.”
Unfortunately, some forms of acne do require treatment. The hardest part is not knowing when acne will go away for any individual person and waiting to address it can lead to discoloration, staining and even scarring. Adult acne is not uncommon, and we have very effective ways to treat it in the office.
Myth #3- “Acne is caused by or worsened by dirty skin.”
No, it’s not. Acne has multiple factors at its root, but dirty skin isn’t one of them. Hormones, genetics, and inflammation leading to changes in pores, oil production and skin shedding are all part of the picture. Neither under-cleansing nor over-cleansing is good for the skin, but it isn’t the cause behind developing acne.
Myth #4- “Popping pimples is an effective strategy.”
Untrue. Popping pimples often leads to a more noticeable blemish, and more so can risk leaving a scar or a very longstanding red or brown spot. Coming up with a treatment plan to both treat and prevent pimples is ideal, and doing our best to be hands-off is really important.
Myth #5- “If I cut out dairy, my acne will vanish.”
We wish it were this simple. Unfortunately, the relationship between diet and combatting acne is much more complicated. Hormones in dairy and meats (both natural and added synthetic ones) can play a role for some people but not all. Any foods that increase our insulin or insulin-like hormones could all possibly impact acne- and that is a very long list!