Acne may impact as many as 50 million Americans a year, but there's still a lot even acne sufferers may not understand about their skin condition. There's a surprising amount of acne misconceptions that continue to impact public perception. For example, some people still believe that acne is caused by dirty skin and eating too much chocolate, or that popping a pimple will make it go away faster. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can keep people from seeking the help and information they need.
For many of those who struggled with acne in their teenage years and well into adulthood, acne scars are a reminder of the skin condition that caused them emotional (and even physical) pain. Fortunately, there are many acne scar treatments available to improve the look and feel of skin, even after active acne has been alleviated. But if you believe the following acne scar myths, you might not be able to achieve the results you desire.
MYTH: Getting a tan helps to hide acne scars.
Reality: If you're going to the beach or the tanning salon in hopes of hiding your scars, you'll end up regretting it. You might assume that darkening the skin around your scarring will help blend the two, but the truth is that scar tissue is much more prone to UV damage. More than likely, your scar will burn or darken as a result, making it even harder to hide (and increasing the possibility of sun damage or even skin cancer). Americans of all skin types should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, but it's even more important for those with acne scars to protect their skin from sun exposure.
MYTH: When it comes to topical products, more is better.
Reality: You should use only the products your dermatologist recommends. It might seem like a good idea to use several topical creams, serums, and spot treatments all at once to clear your acne once and for all. But not all acne products and skin care treatments are created equal -- and some aren't meant to interact with each other. Your skin could even be particularly sensitive to one ingredient (e.g., salicylic acid, which is found in many over-the-counter acne creams, might irritate your skin while benzoyl peroxide is totally fine). Therefore, it's better to stick to the one or two products your dermatologist suggests until they're gone; after that, you can assess whether something else might work better.
MYTH: Acne scars occur only on the face.
Reality: Acne scarring can occur anywhere. It's often more prevalent on the face due to the fact that it's more accessible and visible, making the temptation to pick a bit harder to resist. But acne scarring can be found on the back, shoulders, neck, chest, and scalp -- virtually anywhere pimples occur.
MYTH: Scars are unpreventable and permanent.
Reality: No matter how severe your scarring, your condition is treatable -- and you can reduce your risk of future scars. First, the idea that you have to wait until your acne subsides to pursue acne scar treatment simply isn't true. It's much better to prevent scars before they ever happen, which involves proper cleaning and moisturizing, wearing sun protection, and avoiding picking or squeezing active acne. But if scarring does occur, don't fret. Every person will require a different acne scar treatment, as there's no one-size-fits-all solution. But you do not have to live with the embarrassment of scarring for your whole life. You will, however, need to consult with a dermatologist to determine the most effective course of treatment for your particular situation. With their help, you can reduce the appearance of acne scars and increase your self-confidence levels permanently.
Ready to find out how our acne scar treatment options can help you? Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more.