Common Myths About Acne

It is estimated that 80 percent of all people will have an acne breakout at some point in their lives. Like many ailments that plague so many people, myths have developed over the years about what causes acne and the best way to treat it.

Find out the real story behind many common acne myths.

Myth: Only teenagers get acne.

Although acne most frequently appears in adolescents, it also shows up for the first time in people in their 20s and 30s. People of all ages get acne.

Myth: Acne is caused by dirt.

Acne flare-ups cannot be traced to dirt or poor hygiene. In fact, washing too frequently or scrubbing too vigorously can irritate skin and make acne worse.

Myth: Eating chocolate and greasy foods causes acne.

There is no proven connection between chocolate, pizza, potato chips, french fries, cheeseburgers, etc., and acne outbreaks. Recent research has indicated a link between acne and non-organic dairy products.

Myth: Stress causes acne.

Stress does not cause acne to appear – but it can make it worse.

Myth: Popping pimples makes them go away sooner.

Quite the contrary: Squeezing pimples and blackheads can lead to additional inflammation, infection and scarring.

Myth: Getting a tan helps clear up acne.

A little time in the sun won’t hurt, but prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning devices can irritate skin and result in more acne. This can also increase the risk for skin cancer.

Myth: Acne will go away on its own.

Acne typically does not resolve on its own. Without treatment, acne can often progress and worsen.