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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | Debunking Acne's 6 Greatest Myths

Debunking Acne's 6 Greatest Myths

Acne is a common skincare concern that many of us struggle with at some point in our lives. With that comes a lot of information out there about the condition, some of it helpful and some of it not so helpful (or accurate). That's why Dr. Schultz is here to help debunk some common misconceptions. 

1. You have to live with acne; it cannot be cured.

FALSE. Today, more than ever, there are many effective treatments for acne. If your acne is mild, there are lots of different options such as, topical treatments, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxides, exfoliants like salicylic acid or glycolic acid, and even the traditional topical treatments like sulfur and Resorcinol. If your acne is a bit more severe there are still plenty of courses of action. There are oral medications, as well as oral antibiotics and Accutane, if other treatments don’t work. According to Dr. Schultz, Accutane works almost 100 percent of the time because it stops oil from producing in your skin and if you don’t have oil, you don’t have acne.

2. Acne can be outgrown; it’s a disease that only exists in teenagers.

FALSE. Unfortunately in the past years, there’s been an a shift in the age spectrum of acne, particularly with women. Women who are in their late twenties, thirties, forties and even fifties are having more and more trouble with acne. Some women can even experience breakouts up until menopause. Acne can sometimes be inevitable since it can be caused by outside factors like air pollution, certain types of makeup, and untraditional stresses. 

3. Acne can’t be covered up with makeup.

FALSE. Makeup is fine to put on your face. Some people have different reactions to different types of makeup. If you do, try either a water-based foundation, oil-free, or non-comedogenic makeup, which means it won’t clog your skin. Using makeup with those bases will glide over blemishes without making them worse.

4. Picking pimples causes scars.

FALSE. Picking at your pimples won’t scar your skin, although it will probably leave a pesky dark stain that’s hard to get rid of. A scar is a depression within the skin, underneath the surface, or a bump above the surface of the skin. Picking pimples causes flat stains, discolorations, dark spots on or around the pimple, instead of going deep within. The problem is they can be even more difficult to treat than the actual pimples though. So, while picking at your pimples won’t cause scars, it will have other negative side effects.

5. Food causes acne breakouts.

FALSE. An extremely common myth is the idea of forbidden foods like chocolate, nuts, caffeine, sodas, fried foods, and pizza. However, those foods don’t cause acne for everyone. Some patients come in to Dr. Schultz’s office and tell him that when they eat chocolate, they break out, and he tells those patients to stop eating those foods. However, if you’ve reached an older age and you haven’t noticed a relationship between eating those foods and breaking out with pimples the next day, then there probably is no relationship. The one exception comes from iodine which is found in shellfish like lobster, shrimp, crabmeat, and green vegetables that come out of the ocean like seaweed, spinach, kelp, as well as thyroid medications. Iodine can cause acne, but not the day after you eat it. It’s the accumulation of eating these foods consistently, day after day, that suddenly causes acne. So, if you’re prone to acne, try to avoid iodine-containing foods.

6. The most important time of the day to wash your face is after sweating.

FALSE. The most important time to wash your face is right before you participate in physical activity. This is because when you perspire, you tend to wipe your skin and if there is already dirt and grime on your face, that’s just rubbing it all in, along with the oils that are there. If there’s nothing on your face but the natural sweat created by your body, there’s nothing that can get in the way. Before putting anything on your face, wash your face and hands again after the workout.

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