Common Acne Myths

Having acne can be miserable. Not only can it be painful if it’s severe, but there’s the worry of permanent scarring, not to mention the negative effect it can have on your self-esteem.


Having acne can be miserable. Not only can it be painful if it’s severe, but there’s the worry of permanent scarring, not to mention the negative effect it can have on your self-esteem. While acne treatment has advanced dramatically over recent years, many myths about the condition remain.

The following looks at these, provides the real truth behind the problem, and looks at some of the cutting-edge treatments that can dramatically reduce acne symptoms.

Acne Myths: from being a “teenage problem'' to sunbed use…

  • What is acne?
  • Common acne myths debunked

What is acne?

Acne occurs when the hair follicles become blocked with sebum. If too much is produced, it mixes with dead skin cells and creates a plug within the follicle. This causes bulges—either open to the air or closed. These are called whiteheads and blackheads. In turn, these can become infected and form the telltale signs of acne that sufferers are all too well aware of. 

  • Papules
  • Pustules
  • Nodules
  • Cysts

In the worst cases, these can be multiple, be painful, and cause lifelong scarring.

Common acne myths debunked

The underlying cause of acne is hormonal. This is especially relevant for acne in earlier life (teens, early twenties). But it can also occur later in life—the so-called, adult acne.

Despite this proven reason behind the problem, many myths about acne continue to circulate. These include mistruths about why a person might suffer and some old wives’ tales about how to treat it.  So, let’s put those to bed once and for all.

  • Acne is not caused by eating a poor diet: While you should, of course, endeavor to eat healthily, there is no research that evidences food as a link to having acne.
  • Acne is not caused by poor hygiene: Acne occurs because of biological reactions beneath the surface of the skin. How clean the skin is has nothing to do with this. In fact, dermatologists recommend not washing the face more than twice a day as this could cause skin irritation.
  • Sun exposure and sunbeds do not help acne: There is no proof of this and excessive UV rays are detrimental to the skin in many ways. It raises the risk of skin cancer and, because many acne medications increase the skin’s sensitivity to light, can cause even more damage.
  • Acne is not infectious: Nope, nope, and nope again.
  • Squeezing the spots does not help reduce the severity of acne: This can actively make the problem worse and increase the risk of scarring.
  • Sexual activity does not make acne better or worse: This has no influence on the severity of acne.

While mild acne might be something that, for teenagers and young adults, eventually fades, more severe cases will need professional intervention. This can only be adequately assessed by a dermatologist who specializes in treating the condition. After a thorough assessment, options to reduce symptoms include:

  • Topical retinoids and antibiotics
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Azelaic acid
  • Prescribing the contraceptive pill (for women)

Treatment is not instant and can take many weeks or months to begin to take effect. If you’re worried about acne, the first stage is to get an over-the-counter cream that contains benzoyl peroxide. If this fails to make a difference, booking a professional assessment with a medical acne specialist is advised.

An acne dermatologist also has a variety of skin resurfacing treatments that can help reduce the symptoms. For instance, advanced lasers can be used to decrease acne scarring and chemical peels and microdermabrasion can also have a dramatic effect.

Want Real, Effective Acne Treatment? Contact Bayou City Dermatology Today

At Bayou City, we specialize in helping people overcome distressing skin conditions, such as acne. Our incredible dermatology team has an extensive repertoire of treatments at their disposal, targeting the root cause of acne issues and working to reduce the hormonal imbalance or medication link that’s often the underlying cause.

We work with you to first determine the reason you’re suffering before putting an effective treatment plan in place.

Head to our acne treatment services page for more information and call our friendly team today to book an initial consultation.