Acne Treatment Myths

5 Acne Treatment Myths Debunked

There are many acne treatment myths out there, separating fact from from fiction can be tough. Is your favorite acne treatment tip grounded in reality?

Myth: You should vigorously scrub your skin every day.

Photo: Altrendo Images / Getty Images
Photo: Altrendo Images / Getty Images

Reality: People with acne have a tendency to really scrub their face, trying to deeply cleanse the pores and get that "squeaky-clean" feeling.

Washcloths, cleansers with abrasive ingredients, and coarse scrubs aren't always the best choices for skin with acne. Rather than help, they can cause irritation that exacerbates inflammation and worsens breakouts.

Your skin needs to be treated gently to minimize friction and irritation. Don't excessively rub or scrub your skin. This is especially true if you have inflamed breakouts.

Scrubs and Acne

Myth: Sweating will clean out your pores.

Reality: Although it seems like sweating cleans your pores, it really does nothing to clear acne. And, if you aren't careful about showering immediately after getting sweaty, it can actually lead to an increase in breakouts.

See, your skin has two different types of pores: your sweat pore and your oil pore. Blackheads and pimples develop in the oil pore.

Sweat, however, comes from a completely different pore. So there is no way to sweat out blackheads and blemishes.

Exercise is great for your body, but it's not really going effect your skin.

Does Acne Keep You From Regular Exercise?

Myth: Use super-drying skin care products to banish oil and beat breakouts.

Reality: Oily skin can be a bother, but using ultra-drying skin care isn't the best way to go.

Your skin needs some oil to be healthy. Over-drying your skin will lead to problems of its own, like uncomfortable tightness and cracking. Not to mention that peeling, flaking skin doesn't look all that great either.

The trick is to remove excess oil without stripping your skin of every possible drop. The best way to do so is use a foaming cleanser that leaves your skin feeling clean, but not excessively tight and dry.

Besides, just using an ultra-drying product isn't enough to clear acne.

How to Choose the Right Cleanser

Myth: To clear acne fast, use lots and lots of topical medication.

Reality: It's tempting to slather on acne medications at every opportunity, but it won't heal acne any faster. In fact, using too many acne medications, using them too often, or using too much at one time can actually harm your skin. The results can be excessive dryness, peeling, redness, and/or irritation.

Always follow usage directions on all acne medications carefully. Remember, it will take time to see results, so try to be patient. If after using over-the-counter treatments for several months there is no visible improvement of the skin, talk to your doctor.

Should I Over-Apply?

Myth: There is nothing you can do about acne.

Reality: Today many treatment options are available to improve acne. Treatments include topical creams, oral medications, and more.

Whether your acne is mild or severe, if you are a teen or an adult, there are therapies available that will work for you. Don't hesitate to call your dermatologist to learn what treatment options will be most effective in healing your skin.

Acne is not something you must suffer through. Nearly every case of acne can be successfully controlled with time, persistence, and patience.

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