Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. This skin condition can affect one’s self-esteem and can prevent them from doing everyday activities. Even though acne is so common, there seems to still be a lot of stigma and misconceptions about this condition. In this blog post, Andrew Newman, DO breaks down the myths surrounding acne.

Myth #1: Acne is caused by having a dirty face.

When asked about the biggest misconception about acne, Dr. Newman replied,

“We should disregard the idea that acne is caused by having a dirty face. This is not the case. Acne is caused by hormones, inflammation, and bacteria on the skin. In fact, all of the medicines we use to treat acne will target one of these things.”

There are certain facial washes that can help with treating acne. For example, PCA Skin offers a BPO 5% Cleanser that helps eliminate existing breakouts and prevents further ones. Make sure you avoid ingredients like fragrance, oils, and parabens in your face wash because these ingredients can lead to even more breakouts. We highly suggest consulting with your dermatologist on the best way to keep your skin clean and clear and which products are best for you.

Myth #2: You need to exfoliate your skin when you have active acne.

Exfoliation is an important part of the skincare routine to help remove old, dead skin cells, but not when you have active acne. Dr. Newman gives credit to Hollywood when asked about why people with acne feel the need to exfoliate their skin. He states,

“Exfoliating active acne will likely cause more redness, more swelling, and raise the chances of forming a scar. So why do we obsess over-exfoliating? Hollywood. Television shows and commercials will tell you this is what you need to do. So is exfoliating a bad thing in general? Not really. It can help maintain healthy skin when used on normal skin that does not have acne (or any other skin condition).”

If you have active acne, Dr. Newman suggests staying away from physical exfoliators which includes abrasive washcloths and facial scrubs made with harsh abrasives. Chemical exfoliation is a great way to help prevent scarring after any active acne has gone down.

We offer several different types of chemical peels to help any skin type that may be dealing with acne and they offer a gentler option to physical exfoliants. If you’re not quite ready for chemical peels, try dermaplaning! Dermaplaning is a painless and non-invasive treatment that delivers instant results. This treatment uses a medical-grade surgical blade to gently remove vellus hair aka peach fuzz and dead skin. Dermaplaning results in supple, glowing skin without any downtime. 

Myth #3: Acne affects only teens and adolescents.

Acne is a skin condition that can affect anyone at any age, not just teens going through puberty. There are many causes for acne, and one of the biggest ones is due to hormonal changes caused by puberty or pregnancy. Acne can also be caused by certain medications, an unhealthy diet full of carbohydrates and sugar, and it can even be caused by genetics. Sometimes acne can be caused by a combination of all of the above, and that is why it’s so important to meet with a dermatologist to help rule out some of these possibilities. 

Acne doesn’t have to hold you back from enjoying life and there are solutions out there to help clear up breakouts. There are many different options when it comes to clearing up blemishes. Acne can be treated through the use of oral medication, topical creams, or a diligent skincare regimen. With acne can come acne scarring, and these scars can range from mild to very deep. One treatment that our dermatologists recommend for acne scarring in our aesthetic department is microneedling. Microneedling is a treatment that uses a device to help stimulate collagen production and cell turnover. This procedure has little downtime and proven results to help minimize acne scarring.

If you have been struggling with managing your acne, make an appointment to see one of our dermatology providers. They will be able to help you come up with a customized plan to help you achieve clear skin. Our providers also work with our medical aesthetic team to ensure that all of your skincare goals have been met.

Book an appointment and manage your acne with a board-certified dermatologist at one of our Affiliated Dermatology offices across the Valley. We have acne specialists in Ahwatukee, Anthem, Deer Valley, Gilbert, Old Town, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Tempe, AZ.