Atlanta Acne Specialists debunk the ten most common acne myths to help you get rid of acne.
- Myth: Frequent washing keeps skin clear.
Fact: Washing too often can actually irritate and dehydrate the skin. Since acne begins deep inside the pore and washing occurs on the surface, one will not help the other. Proper cleansing right after workouts and at the end of the day and using active products that can penetrate the pore are the most beneficial for acne prone skin.
- Myth: Acne is caused by dirt and/or poor hygiene.
Fact: Again, acne begins deep inside the pore. Since comedones form because the skin is shedding up to five layers of dead skin each day inside the pore, dirt or oil on the surface of the skin does not create acne. What is needed are active products that get down into the pore where acne starts to prevent it from ever starting.
- Myth: Acne is caused by French fries and chocolate.
Fact: Foods high in iodides can aggravate acne. French fries and chocolate have more sodium than most, but the fries and chocolate themselves are not causing the acne. If that was true the entire population would have acne. There are studies that show foods high in sugar can make acne worse, but they certainly don’t “cause” it.
- Myth: Acne is just a cosmetic disease.
Fact: Acne is an inherited disease of the pore. You are genetically prone to acne or not. Cosmetics cannot cause acne. They can only make an existing issue worse. Acne can be a psychological disease. Some people won’t leave their home if they have a severe case. Acne is a legitimate disease that needs to be taken seriously.
- Myth: You just have to let acne run its course.
Fact: Some people never outgrow their acne. Not very many, but I have come across individuals into their 60’s who still break out. Many people who just wait to let it get better on its own also wind up with permanent scarring (sometimes severe). So, that being said, if we know that we can manage acne through a diligent home care program why not do it? It is the easiest way out.
- Myth: You should spot treat pimples with Benzoyl Peroxide.
Fact: While Benzoyl Peroxide is very beneficial for acne one of the worst things you can do is spot treat. Yes, it’ll clear up a breakout in no time, but when you do that you leave every other pore available to create another microcomedone which will mature into a pimple in the next 60-90 days. We call that “whack-a-zit”. It’s a never ending battle. You must treat the entire area to completely prevent acne from forming inside the pore.
- Myth: Acne can be cured.
Fact: Unfortunately there is no cure for acne. It can only be managed by using the right products correctly. Most people will grow out of acne at some point in their life, but the most effective things you can do are get plenty of rest and eat a clean diet.
- Myth: Moisturizer will make me break out.
Fact: There are moisturizers that have pore clogging ingredients in them. Those will make you break out. Using an oil free moisturizer doesn’t necessarily help either because it all depends on the formula. However, if you have a moisturizer with a non-pore clogging formula, you’re safe. Also, on our program you’ll need a light moisturizer. Any product that is going to get rid of acne is going to be a little drying. If you’re super oily you might welcome this drying. Using a little moisturizer will just keep the skin hydrated and comfortable while your skin is getting used to the products.
- Myth: Products have to burn if they’re going to be effective.
Fact: Product shouldn’t burn or sting in order to work. While they need to be strong to be effective you want to discontinue use if they are burning or stinging. If not, you will be red, irritated and uncomfortable. This will only make getting clear more difficult. Stronger is not always better.
Bonus Myth: Accutane will cure my acne.
Fact: We have many clients who have been on Accutane (some multiple times) and they come to us because they are breaking out again.