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November 19, 2017  
RESEARCH CENTER: 7 Acne Myths
7 Acne Myths

There are many myths about the causes of acne and how to treat it, so the first step to successfully treating your acne is by educating yourself!

1. There is nothing I can do about my acne. I'll just "grow out of it".
This is simply not true! While your acne may eventually go away on its own, it can also leave permanent scars on your skin---and your self- esteem--- that could have been prevented by treating your acne. Take charge of your acne and your life.

2. Acne is a sign of poor hygiene.
Having acne does not mean that your skin is dirty. What may look like dirt inside your black heads is actually melanin, the dark pigment that gives your skin its natural color. In fact, washing your skin too many times a day and using harsh, abrasive cleansers may dry out and damage your skin, thus aggravating your acne. Washing your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser is sufficient, in addition to the right acne treatment for you.

3. Foods like chocolate, pizza, and French fries cause acne.
While a healthy balanced diet promotes the overall well- being of your body, including your skin, it is a false myth that certain foods like chocolate and French fries directly cause acne. Some people may find that certain foods do trigger their acne flare- ups, so it is wise for them to avoid these foods.

4. Acne is for teenagers. I can't get acne if I'm an adult.
Did you know that about 25% of all people between the ages 25- 44 have active acne? Many adult women have acne due to the constant fluctuation of their hormones during each menstrual cycle. Medications (like birth control pills) and pregnancy can also contribute to adult acne.

5. Picking or squeezing a pimple safely is the best way to get rid of it quickly.
There is no "safe" way to pick or squeeze a pimple. In fact, your attempts can damage the structures under your skin and cause the pimple to become inflamed or to leave a permanent scar. Although it is very tempting to pick at your pimples, you are better off in the long run continuing your acne therapy and letting your pimples heal on their own.

6. Sunlight will help improve my acne.
It is true that sun exposure will dry out your existing pimples, but it will not prevent new ones from forming. In some people, the sun can actually worsen acne by contributing to clogged pores. Also, common acne medications like the antibiotic tetracycline and retinoids can sensitize your skin to the sun, leading to bad burns if your skin is unprotected. The minimal benefits of sun exposure to your acne are clearly outweighed by the risks of burns and skin cancer. Whether you have acne or not, it is a wise idea to use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

7. Acne is not important enough to go to a doctor for help.
Acne has been labeled a normal part of growing up, but many people don't realize the devastating effects that it can have on one's self- esteem and quality of life. There is no reason why a treatable skin condition should be left alone. Although mild cases of acne may be controlled with over- the- counter products, moderate and more severe acne (such as nodular or cystic acne) may need prescription medications that a dermatologist can provide for you. The earlier you seek treatment for acne, the lower your risk of permanent scarring and the sooner you will become the new, confident you.

Read more about Acne.

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