The Top Acne Myths

Provider examining patient for acne

The Truth About Acne: Let’s Clear it Up for You!

Are you treating your acne with toothpaste? If so, it’s time for a refresher on what does and does not work when it comes to treating acne. Beware of anything that sounds like a quick fix. Treating acne requires a lot of patience and compliance—meaning you need to have a daily acne-fighting regimen in place and stick to it! Here are the top truths and myths about acne.

Treating Acne with Toothpaste

MYTH: The thinking behind the toothpaste-as-acne-treatment myth is that toothpaste dries out the zit and therefore gets rid of it. Legitimate acne medications, such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, treat zits with the side effect of dry skin, leading people to believe that toothpaste works just the same. Not so. Toothpaste is not an effective acne treatment, not to mention it contains ingredients that can irritate the skin.

Your Cell Phone Can Cause Acne

TRUTH: By holding your cell phone against your skin, you are causing the oil to get trapped in the pores and this can lead to pimples. To remedy this situation, use your earphones when on long conversations or wash your face after a gab session.

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Acne and Stress are Related

TRUTH: Numerous studies have shown that stress is not only bad for your mood, but it also takes a toll on your skin. When you stress, the hormone cortisol rises in your body and leads to inflammation which in turn can lead to signs of aging and acne. We all lead extremely busy and—oftentimes—stressful lives. There are so many ways to reduce stress in your life that you’re bound to find the right stress-reducing activity to fit your personality. From taking regular walks to yoga sessions or 15 minutes of quiet meditation, de-stressing techniques can actually be fun. Scheduling time with a friend or just reading a book are other ways to practice stress relief.

More Cleansing is Better for Treating Acne

MYTH: While it’s true that extra sebum production can be the culprit behind some of your acne breakouts, over-washing the skin is not the answer and in fact can do way more harm than good. If you strip the skin of too much of its natural oils, it will only overcompensate and produce more oil.

You can get acne from sweating

MYTH: Sweat glands are not the same as oil pores. While sweat alone cannot cause acne, there is a condition called acne mechanica, which is a form of acne that is caused by a combination of heat, friction and covered skin. It’s often found on athletes who sweat under their helmets. Other culprits of acne mechanica include face masks, tight clothing, snug backpack straps, and headbands worn for long periods of time.

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Sun exposure helps clear up acne

MYTH: While “drying out acne” in the sun may seem like a good idea, it’s not. The sun not only causes premature aging, but it does nothing to help clear up or heal acne. A suntan may help mask the redness of zits, but it’s only temporary. Once the tan fades, the pimples can come back in full force thanks to ultraviolet light exposure.

Acne is treated differently in every patient

TRUTH: It is important to see a dermatology provider to determine the right course of treatment for your particular type of acne. Some examples of treatments include topical creams, prescription face washes, oral antibiotics, oral anti-androgen treatments or birth control pills in women, laser treatments and light treatments.

Acne is caused by poor hygiene

MYTH: Practicing good hygiene is an important part of all skin care regimens, but many times it does not treat the underlying causes that lead to acne. Dirt itself does not cause acne.

Use more acne products for faster results

MYTH: Using too much of your topical acne medications can cause excessive irritation on your skin, in the form of redness and peeling.  A pea-size amount is sufficient for treatment of your entire face; you should use much less if applying only to spots.

About Schweiger Dermatology Group

Schweiger Dermatology Group was founded to help make excellent dermatology care accessible throughout the Northeast. In 2010, Dr. Eric Schweiger started the practice with a single location in Midtown Manhattan. When he saw the need for high-quality dermatology care that did not require weeks or months of waiting to see a qualified provider, his vision of a multi-location practice was born.

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