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Amy is a Board Certified Family Health Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with over 15 years of experience working in Hospital Medicine, Urgent Care and Primary Care practices. Amy graduated Thomas Jefferson University with high distinction earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008, a Master of Science in Nursing in 2010 and a Post Master's Certificate in Adult Gerontology Acute Care (AGAC) in 2014. She was recognized by the Elite American Nurses Association in 2013 for her dedication, achievements and leadership in the field Nursing. She served as a clinical preceptor for a number of Nurse Practitioner students and enjoys teaching the bright minds of future NPs.
Do you suffer from acne? Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, you’re not alone. This is a common skin condition. Unfortunately, there are countless myths surrounding this skin disease.
In this guide, we’ll break down the common misconceptions and myths about acne and reveal the truth.
Table of Contents
- Acne Myth 1: Adults Don’t Get Acne
- Acne Myth 2: Acne Is Caused by Poor Hygiene
- Acne Myth 3: You Should Pop Your Acne Pimples
- Acne Myth 4: To Get Rid of Acne You Need to Clean Your Face More
- Acne Myth 5: Stress Causes Acne
- Acne Myth 6: Greasy Food Causes Acne
- Acne Myth 7: Tanning Can Help Clear Up Acne
- Acne Myth 8: Makeup Causes Acne
- Acne Myth 9: Acne Can Be Cured Fast
- Acne Myth 10: Eating Dairy Products Causes Acne
- Acne Myth 11: Vaping Causes Acne
- Acne Myth 12: Acne Is a Cosmetic Problem
- How Can DrHouse Help With Your Acne?
Acne Myths And Facts
Acne Myth 1: Adults Don’t Get Acne
People commonly assume that acne only impacts those in adolescence. This isn’t the case. While the skin condition impacts between 79% and 95% of the adolescent population, one study has also found facial acne issues in 54% and 40% of men over the age of 25. As such, it is possible to experience acne as an adult.
Acne Myth 2: Acne Is Caused by Poor Hygiene
Individuals often assume acne with poor hygiene. While poor hygiene can make acne worse and can lead to the development of the odd pimple, it will never be the main cause. The reality is that acne is triggered by biological reactions that occur underneath the skin. It is not, as many assume, an issue that is skin deep. In some cases, washing your face more than two times a day could make the issue worse because it will irritate your skin.
Acne Myth 3: You Should Pop Your Acne Pimples
It is tempting to pop pimples caused by acne. Particularly, if you can see that the pimple is filled with pus. This can develop at the site of an inflamed pore. If you pop your pimples, then you can spread the bacteria across your face and introduce more bacteria to the affected area if your hands are not clean. You could also cause scarring. Acne scarring is common and approximately one in five people have some acne scars.
Acne Myth 4: To Get Rid of Acne You Need to Clean Your Face More
You should only wash your face once or twice each day. Most people will wash their face once when they wake up and once when they go to bed. This is more than enough to keep it clean. Unfortunately, washing your face more regularly than normal, will not reduce issues with acne. As mentioned, this could simply irritate your skin, particularly if you are using the wrong products.
Acne Myth 5: Stress Causes Acne
Those who have issues with acne often believe that stress is one of the main causes of acne. While acne is not caused by acne directly, research has found that emotional stress may have a significant impact on the severity of acne flare-ups. This has been used as evidence that patients with acne require a more holistic approach to treatment. So, while it won’t cause acne, relaxing can help reduce the signs and symptoms of this skin disease.
Acne Myth 6: Greasy Food Causes Acne
Various dieticians will argue that greasy food is one of the leading causes of acne issues. In reality, medical experts do not support this claim at all. The notion is also not supported by evidence in scientific studies. Past evidence has explored greasy food as well as chocolate and nuts and the effect it could have on acne. The results have shown that any food you eat has virtually no impact on the state of your skin.
Acne Myth 7: Tanning Can Help Clear Up Acne
Decades ago, doctors would suggest people with acne treat it by getting as much sun and fresh air as possible. Some people still believe tanning will help as a treatment for acne. In reality, tanning dries out the skin which will lead to a high level of oil production in the sebaceous glands. So, getting too much sun could make issues with acne worse. If you do suffer from acne, you should stay hydrated and use sun tan lotion. Too much sun and a focus on tanning could also mean that scarring increases.
Acne Myth 8: Makeup Causes Acne
Another common misconception is that using makeup somehow results in acne. You just need to avoid using products that contain ingredients that will cause issues if you already have oily skin. You can explore oil-free makeup solutions that are ideal and light enough that they won’t block your pores.
Acne Myth 9: Acne Can Be Cured Fast
There is no quick cure for acne. This is particularly true if you are experiencing issues with severe acne as an adult. Indeed, while acne can not be cured, there are treatments available. This includes:
There are also tablets available that can be used to treat acne. Some studies have also explored whether vitamin A tablets can be used as a treatment for acne vulgaris.
Acne Myth 10: Eating Dairy Products Causes Acne
As already mentioned there is little to no evidence that eating dairy products causes acne. While some studies have shown a correlation between dairy intake and the severity of the condition, these results are not respected by the wider scientific community.
Acne Myth 11: Vaping Causes Acne
You may have heard that vaping causes acne. There’s no research to suggest this. While people who vape may develop acne, this could be because they are touching their face more regularly. In contrast, some individuals who vape may have fewer issues with acne because they are using it as a substitute for cigarettes. Vaping may also cause dehydration and your body may react by producing more oil, leading to further breakouts.
Acne Myth 12: Acne Is a Cosmetic Problem
Acne is not simply a cosmetic issue that impacts appearance. Instead, skin experts consider it to be a medical issue particularly if a patient is experiencing severe symptoms. Some dermatologists will grade acne based on severity. For instance, mild acne is classified as whiteheads and blackheads. Severe acne refers to numerous painful pustules associated with severe nodulocystic acne.
We hope this helps you understand the truth behind some of the common myths associated with acne. The bottom line here is that this condition is not caused by lifestyle factors. Instead, it is a medical condition, and depending on the severity, you may require treatment from a doctor to manage this issue.
How Can DrHouse Help With Your Acne?
At DrHouse we can help by assessing your acne and providing advice on the best treatment option for you. An appointment may take no more than 15 minutes and could conclude with a prescription for medication that will help clear up your acne in a matter of weeks.
- Andia Mitri, Gloria Lin, Reid A. Waldman, Jane M. Grant-Kels, Effects of tobacco and vaping on the skin, Clinics in Dermatology, Volume 39, Issue 5, 2021, Pages 762-771, ISSN 0738-081X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clindermatol.2021.05.004.
- Ulvestad, M., Bjertness, E., Dalgard, F. and Halvorsen, J. (2017), Acne and dairy products in adolescence: results from a Norwegian longitudinal study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 31: 530-535. https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13835.
- Kotori MG. Low-dose Vitamin “A” Tablets-treatment of Acne Vulgaris. Med Arch. 2015;69(1):28-30. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.5455/medarh.2015.69.28-30
- Zouboulis, C.C. and Böhm, M. (2004), Neuroendocrine regulation of sebocytes – a pathogenetic link between stress and acne. Experimental Dermatology, 13: 31-35. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0625.2004.00254.x.
- Connolly D, Vu HL, Mariwalla K, Saedi N. Acne Scarring-Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment Options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(9):12-23.
- Bhate, K. and Williams, H. (2013), Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. British Journal of Dermatology, 168: 474-485. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.12149.
- Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton SB, Brand-Miller J. Acne Vulgaris: A Disease of Western Civilization. Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(12):1584–1590. doi:https://www.doi.org/10.1001/archderm.138.12.1584.
- Jessica Hahne, 2011, Does Greasy Food Cause Acne? Yale Scientific. Available from: https://www.yalescientific.org/2011/11/does-greasy-food-cause-acne/.
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