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Acne is a stubborn, complicated issue that most people face at some point in their lives. Misinformation about what does or does not cause acne makes managing it on your own difficult. Let’s investigate eight of the most common myths about acne to determine, once and for all, whether they’re facts or fiction.
1. Only Teenagers Get Acne.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from acne well into adulthood. A study of 1000 adults published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that approximately 50% of women in their twenties, 35% of women in their thirties, and 26% of women in the forties reported struggling with acne. In some cases, women who never had acne as a teen can develop it for the first time in their twenties.
Adult men and women can both have acne, but it’s more common among women due to hormonal fluctuations during menstruation and pregnancy. Excess estrogen can increase your skin’s oil production, which can then clog pores and cause acne.
If you’re struggling with adult acne, you are not alone!
2. Eating Chocolate Causes Breakouts.
For the most part, this is an old wives’ tale. Researchers haven’t been able to link cocoa to acne reliably. However, milk chocolate has a lot of sugar. In some people, high glycemic foods can cause breakouts, but that’s caused by the sugar rather than the cocoa.
When you eat chocolate, choose dark varieties with 70% cocoa or more because they’re much lower in sugar than milk chocolate. BONUS: Dark chocolate is full of healthy antioxidants!
3. Wearing Makeup Makes You Breakout.
Some types of liquid face makeup can clog your pores, but most cosmetic companies now offer oil-free and non-comedogenic products. If you want to wear makeup, opt for acne-friendly liquids or mineral-based powders that won’t clog your pores. Be sure to wash your cosmetics off each night and clean your makeup brushes weekly to avoid spreading bacteria.
4. Stronger Products Get Rid of More Acne.
Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are staples in acne treatment, but stronger concentrations aren’t necessarily more effective. Start with a lower concentration and see how your skin tolerates it. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference in acne improvement between those who use a 2.5% concentration of benzoyl peroxide and those who use a 10% concentration. However, higher concentrations are more likely to irritate your skin, causing redness and dryness.
If over-the-counter medications aren’t clearing your acne, schedule a visit with Brentwood Dermatology. We can suggest different treatments that may be more effective and less irritating.
5. Tanning Improves Acne.
For some people, sun exposure can reduce inflammation in acne lesions. However, skin tans because you’ve caused damage to deep layers of the dermis. Sun exposure may cause hyperpigmentation, which makes acne scars appear darker. Tanning also reduces collagen, which can cause premature wrinkling. And, most importantly, tanning increases your chances of developing skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
6. People with Acne Just Need to Wash Their Face More Often.
People who wash their faces twice a day can still have acne. In fact, over-washing your skin can dry it out, which causes your skin to increase its sebum production. Use a gentle, fragrance-free foaming cleaner no more than twice daily so that you don’t disrupt your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Don’t forget to moisturize! Using a non-comedogenic moisturizer will keep your face hydrated so that your skin doesn’t over-produce sebum.
7. Popping a Blemish Will Make It Go Away Faster.
You have bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil on the surface of your skin. When you pop a blemish, you push all of those contaminants into the pore, which can actually cause your blemish to stick around longer. You can also end up with a scar that will last for months or years.
Blemishes heal on their own within a few days, so resist the urge to pop them. Your future self will thank you!
8. Acne Will Clear Up on Its Own.
Myth or Fact?
For many people, acne can persist for decades. If over-the-counter treatments aren’t managing your acne, you don’t have to just suffer through it. The longer you wait to seek help, the greater your chances are of developing acne scars that will persist for months or years after your skin has cleared.
Don’t let your acne affect your self-esteem any longer. Schedule an appointment with Brentwood Dermatology so we can develop an effective treatment plan.
Learn More About Brentwood Dermatology.
The trusted physicians at Brentwood Dermatology can assist you with all of your general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology needs. If you would like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (615) 377-3448.