Acne is a common skin condition that mostly affects adolescents and teens but is not exclusively limited to that age group. Many people have had acne so there are lots of information out there about it but it is imperative not to trust everything that you read. Here are eight common things that you’ve probably been told about acne that are completely false.
1. Acne is something that only happens to teenagers. Teens definitely do suffer from acne, but some people develop acne for the first time in their 20s or 30s. In fact, in Manhattan’s business districts, most patients treated for acne vulgaris are women between the ages of 20 and 45.
2. Acne occurs because your face is dirty. Many people feel like acne means their face is somehow unclean — but that’s just not true. The truth is, acne is a complex skin disorder that can’t be boiled down to simply “dirt.” It’s likely that the connection between the skin condition and dirt was made because blackheads are, well, black — but blackheads aren’t caused by dirt, either.
3. To relieve acne, scrub your face really hard. Remember, acne isn’t caused by dirt — so you can’t just wash it away. A cleanser with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and sulfur compounds will help clear the skin, but it won’t clear it any faster if you scrub harder. Scrubbing acne too hard can actually inflame blackheads, so be sure to be nice to your skin.
4. Popping your pimples makes everything better. Will you people please stop picking at your faces? Popping pimples spill inflammatory gunk into surrounding tissues, which can cause scarring.
5. Acne will go away on its own, so it doesn’t need to be treated. Sorry, this condition can’t be ignored. Doing nothing can even cause the condition to get worse. Mild, topical treatments — such as over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide — are best, and they’re especially effective if started early.
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