Common Misconceptions About Managing Acne

Your Skin Will Clear Up if You Stop Stressing

If only. Although the AAD says that stress can cause the body to produce more hormones that stimulate oil production, there are plenty of other potential causes of breakouts too, including genetics and other hormone fluctuations. Acne is a multifactorial beast that requires an inside-out approach, including a healthy lifestyle and diet as well as a good acne-fighting regimen, says Julia T. Hunter, MD, founder of Wholistic Dermatology in Beverly Hills, California.

Tanning 'Dries Up' Pimples

Sorry, but the only thing tanning is good for is increasing your risk of skin cancer. “Tanning and overexposure to harmful UV [ultraviolet] radiation is one of the worst things you can do to your skin,” Dr. Hunter says. Plus, if you’re already taking medication for your skin, keep in mind that some acne drugs cause your skin to be even more sensitive to the sun, according to the according to the AAD.

There’s a 'Right' Way to Pop a Pimple

The average person should not try to pop a pimple themselves. “This can leave scars on the face or spread bacteria from the germs lurking on your hands and fingers,” Hunter says. You can make existing pimples more inflamed, linger on your face longer, or cause more to spring up nearby. Practice a “hands-off” policy. If you need to get rid of an especially large pimple or an acne cyst, a dermatologist can perform an extraction or inject it with cortisone.

You Only Need One Acne Medication in Your Skincare Regimen

If you want to clear up your skin, you’ll probably need to combine two or more treatments, according to the 2016 guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology. For instance, you might want to pair a prescription topical antibiotic cream with an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide product. Remember that the AAD says it might take one or two months to find a formula that addresses your skin’s needs — another reason to visit a dermatologist before you start treating acne on your own.

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