The Truth About Acne’s 5 Biggest Myths
Whether it’s just a few occasional blemishes or constant, painful and extensive infections, your child is most likely affected by acne. Acne is not just a physical issue at this age; it can also the source of embarrassment and social withdrawal.
Teens of all ages and their parents want to “clear up” this problem, and often indulge in some pretty shaky science to do so. At Alzein Pediatric Associates, we want both you and your child to understand the facts behind acne myths.
Acne is caused by junk food. Nope. While we strongly discourage junk food because of its role in heart disease, childhood obesity and other health issues, many studies have shown that consuming greasy food has no impact on acne.
There is a slight correlation between milk drinking and acne, so avoiding milk for several weeks could be helpful.
Popping pimples makes them disappear faster. Not so. Squeezing or popping pimples just leads to inflammation, which makes the acne last longer and look worse.
Don’t touch! Use an over-the-counter acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
Slathering your face with acne medication will prevent acne. Stop! Applying medication as a preventative measure will only make things worse. These medications dry your skin and if you don’t need it for an actual blemish, it will cause irritation and more blemishes.
Apply medication sparingly, and only to blemishes themselves.
Acne is really caused by dirty skin. Acne is caused by rising androgen levels that make glands enlarge and produce more oil, ultimately causing bacteria to grow.
Wash your face gently in the morning and in the evening, with a gentle, nonabrasive and alcohol-free cleanser and then use an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer.
Tanning is the cure for acne. No, no, and no. Tanning can mask acne for a very short time, but studies have shown that neither UVA light (in tanning beds) nor sunlight helps acne. In truth, exposing skin to either of these types of light has serious longterm effects, both in terms of premature aging and skin cancer risk.
Wear at least an SPF 15 sunscreen in a nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic formula whenever you are in the sunlight – and stay away completely from tanning beds!
About 85% of teens will be affected by acne. If your child’s acne does not respond to over-the-counter medication, call Alzein Pediatric Associates at 708-424-7600 for an appointment.
We can assess the severity of your child’s acne and prescribe appropriate strengths of topical and/or internal medications that will help clear the blemishes and improve self-confidence.