Acne is more than just a skin issue; it’s a life-affecting condition that can impact self-esteem and overall well-being. Incredibly, it’s estimated that up to 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 will be affected by acne, though the severity of each case will differ significantly.
But what’s even more remarkable is how even today, many historic myths and untruths on the subject of acne are still doing the rounds. The issue is that when these misconceptions are misinterpreted as facts, they can adversely impact the effectiveness of acne treatment.
Or worse still, motivate individuals to avoid treatment entirely.
The key to combatting acne – whether mild, moderate or severe – begins with understanding its causes, effects and the scientifically-proven treatment options available.
Hence, if you have paid any mind to any of the following untruths about acne, it may be time for a rethink:
Myth – Acne Only Affects Teenagers
It’s a common misconception that acne is exclusively a teenage problem. In reality, acne can affect people of all ages. Hormonal changes, stress and even genetics play significant roles in adult acne risk. These factors can disrupt the delicate balance of the skin’s oil production, leading to breakouts.
Age-specific treatments are essential, as the causes and severity of acne can vary widely between different age groups.
Myth – Eating Chocolate and Greasy Foods Causes Acne
Contrary to popular belief, eating chocolate or greasy food isn’t a direct cause of acne. While diet can influence skin health, genetics, hormones and skincare habits have a much bigger impact on acne development.
A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall skin health, but it’s essential to address other factors that contribute to acne.
Myth – Popping Pimples Clears Them Faster
The urge to pop a pimple can be overwhelming, but it’s wrong to assume that doing so will help the healing process. Popping pimples can actually worsen acne by spreading across the affected area and causing inflammation. Worse still, it significantly increases the risk of scarring.
Properly managing blemishes involves gentle cleansing, using topical treatments and allowing the skin’s natural healing process to take place.
Myth – Sun Exposure Clears Acne
While sun exposure might temporarily improve acne due to drying and inflammation, it’s far from a reliable solution. Over time, sun exposure damages the skin and exacerbates other skin issues, such as hyperpigmentation and premature aging.
A consistent skincare routine, rather than relying on sun exposure, is essential for achieving and maintaining clear skin.
Myth – Makeup Worsens Acne
Makeup doesn’t always worsen acne, but there are some products that are best avoided. Using non-comedogenic and oil-free makeup products reduces the risk of clogging pores and causing breakouts. However, it’s essential to remove makeup thoroughly and follow a consistent skincare routine to maintain skin health.
Proper makeup removal is vital to prevent buildup and allows the skin to breathe.
Myth – Acne is Caused by Poor Hygiene
Acne is not solely the result of poor hygiene. While keeping the skin clean is essential, excessive cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to an increase in oil production and worsening of acne.
Striking a balance between cleanliness and maintaining the skin’s natural barrier is key.
Myth – All Acne Products Work the Same Way
The idea that all acne products are universally effective is simply untrue. Personalised treatment based on skin type and severity is essential for effective results.
Active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinoids target different aspects of acne and should be chosen based on individual needs.
Myth – Natural Remedies Are Always Safe and Effective
While natural remedies are understandably popular, they are not always backed by scientific evidence. It’s crucial to consult with a professional before trying home remedies – even those that contain 100% natural ingredients.
Professional guidance ensures that the chosen remedies align with the individual’s skin type and concerns.
Myth – Stress Doesn’t Impact Acne
Stress can significantly impact acne by triggering hormonal changes that lead to breakouts. Managing stress is an effective way to contribute to overall skin health, though can of course be easier said than done.
If you struggle with excess stress or anxiety in your life, it’s important to seek professional advice at an early stage.
Myth – Scrubbing the Face Aggressively Eliminates Acne
While the impulse to scrub the face vigorously may seem reasonable, it can harm the skin’s protective barrier and exacerbate acne. Gentle exfoliation and chemical exfoliants are more effective approaches.
These methods remove dead skin cells and unclog pores without damaging the skin.
Myth – Acne Will Disappear On its Own Eventually
Expecting acne to vanish on its own is idealistic, but also completely unrealistic. Acne treatment requires patience and consistent effort.
Results are gradual and maintaining clear skin involves ongoing skincare practices to prevent future breakouts.
Myth – Tanning Beds Improve Acne
Not only are tanning beds not a solution for acne, but they can cause irreparable damage to your skin as a whole. While they may temporarily mask the appearance of acne, the long-term consequences on skin health outweigh any short-lived benefits.
Tanning can lead to increased skin damage, premature aging and a higher risk of skin cancer.
Effective Non-Surgical Acne Treatments
In terms of scientifically-proven acne treatments that actually work, there are several avenues to explore for individuals with all types of cases. Whether you’re dealing with your first unexpected breakout or have found little relief in other treatment options, each of the following may be recommended by your practitioner:
1. Laser Treatment
Laser therapy targets the bacteria that contribute to acne formation and reduces inflammation. During the procedure, a focused laser beam penetrates the skin, destroying the bacteria and shrinking oil glands. This treatment can also stimulate collagen production, aiding in scar reduction. Multiple sessions may be required for optimal results and some redness or swelling can occur after each session. Over time, patients can expect a significant reduction in acne lesions and an improvement in the appearance of scars. Results are long-lasting, but occasional maintenance sessions may be needed.
This cutting-edge treatment involves the use of a device with fine needles that create controlled micro-injuries on the skin’s surface. Micro-needling stimulates collagen production and improves skin texture, reducing the appearance of acne scars. The procedure can cause mild discomfort, but numbing cream is typically applied before treatment. Results are gradual, with skin texture and scarring showing improvement over several weeks to months. Maintenance sessions may be necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
3. Chemical Peels
A chemical peel involves applying a solution to the skin, which causes the outer layer to peel off, revealing fresher skin beneath. This treatment helps unclog pores, reduce inflammation and improve the appearance of mild acne scars. Different strengths of peels are available and the recovery time varies accordingly. After a few sessions, patients can experience smoother skin and diminished scars. The effects are long-lasting, but periodic maintenance treatments might be recommended.
4. Specialist Topical Treatments
Specialist topical treatments include prescription creams and gels containing ingredients such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid. These ingredients target acne-causing bacteria, unclog pores and promote skin cell turnover. Regular use over several weeks can lead to a reduction in acne lesions and an improvement in overall skin texture. Topical treatments are generally well-tolerated and can be a part of long-term skin care routines to prevent acne recurrence.
5. Prescription Medication
For severe cases of acne that haven’t responded to other treatments, prescription medication like oral antibiotics, hormonal therapies, or oral retinoids may be an option. These medications target different factors contributing to acne, such as bacteria, hormones and excessive oil production. Results can be significant, but potential side effects and the need for monitoring should be considered. Prescription medication can also aid in preventing new acne lesions and reduce the risk of scarring.
Book Your Obligation-Free Consultation
At Body Work Clinic, our extensive experience in the treatment of all types of acne cases enables us to provide consistently superior results. With a range of cutting-edge technologies and non-surgical treatments available, we’ll provide the objective advice you need to make a confident decision for your health and beauty goals.
Whether ready to go ahead or simply looking to learn more about acne treatment, we would be delighted to provide you with an obligation-free consultation at your convenience. Call Body Work Clinic anytime, or email us with any questions you have and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.