While acne remains the leading skin condition to affect the population in the United States — approximately 50 million annually — a surprising number of myths still surround the problem.
At Specialists in Dermatology PLLC, our team of dedicated and experienced skin experts helps our patients with a wide range of skin conditions, from moles and melanomas to aging and acne. Of these issues, acne ranks among the most common, and the most frustrating, conditions to cope with, especially since there’s so much misinformation swirling around.
To help clear the air — and potentially your face — we want to shed some light on acne by highlighting a few myths that you shouldn’t believe.
It’s a teenage thing
Acne is linked with puberty, which means adolescents, teenagers, and young adults are more susceptible — in fact, 85% of people ages 12-24 have some experience with acne.
But this isn’t to say that adults don’t get acne. Adult acne is increasingly common, and up to 15% of adult women have some degree of acne in their 30s and 40s, and even beyond.
Poor hygiene leads to acne
Several factors drive acne, including:
- Glands that produce too much oil
- Hair follicles that become clogged with oil and dead skin cells
Many people believe that dirt and debris play a role when, in fact, dirty skin has little effect on your acne. While that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care in cleaning your skin, you should avoid scrubbing your face during an outbreak as this may only lead to further irritation.
Eating junk food leads to acne
The link between diet and acne isn’t fully understood, but researchers believe that there’s a connection, but not the one you may have been led to believe. For example, greasy foods don’t lead to acne, but high-glycemic foods that cause your blood sugar levels to spike may exacerbate the skin condition. These foods include:
- White bread
- Potato chips
When you eat high-glycemic foods, you cause a sudden rise in your blood sugar, which can lead to an inflammatory response in your body, including increased oil production, which worsens acne.
You can ‘burn’ off your acne in the sun
The belief that a little sun exposure can help dry out and clear up your acne isn’t only false, it can do more harm to your already beleaguered skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is enemy No. 1 when it comes to your skin, and there’s no evidence to support that it does anything to clear up your acne.
Clearing the way forward
Given the amount of misinformation about acne, the best way to fight the skin condition is to have one of our dermatologic experts take a look so that they can get you started on an appropriate treatment plan, which may include:
- Topical gels and creams
- Oral medications
- Chemical peels
- Laser therapy
- Blackhead or whitehead extraction
If you’re struggling with acne, contact one of our three locations in the Tucson, Arizona, area to get on the road to clear skin.