How is acne different from pimples?
Pimples, sometimes called zits, are actually papules which is only one symptom of acne. Acne causes blackheads and whiteheads, which are clogged pores. When these become inflamed, they form pimples.
Isn't acne just a phase that teenagers go through?
Acne is a skin condition, and not merely a phase. As such, acne should be treated like any other condition should be. While it is true that teenagers are more likely to suffer from acne than any other age group, adults can also suffer from acne. Adult acne is particularly common in women.
Why do acne cleansers take so long to work?
Cleansing removes oil, dirt, and debris which clog the pores away from the skin's surface. Although many cleansers have antibacterial properties, it does not remove formed pimples, thus, most products take several weeks to clear existing acne.
Do dietary changes help prevent acne?
They might help, but it is unlikely to play a major role. Studies so far are inconclusive about the effects of food on acne. This is likely due to the difficulty in finding a large enough sample size, and the challenge of ascertaining a direct correlation as there are many factors that need to be isolated. If a certain food seems to cause breakouts for you, you would do well to avoid the food as much as possible.
Do non-comedogenic products guarantee safety against acne?
No, however, these products are less likely to aggravate acne. As each person's skin is unique and individual, no product or ingredient can guarantee that it won't aggravate acne, and this is similar to claims about hypoallergenic products. These products avoid ingredients which often cause problems with acne, and are therefore less likely to cause acne.
Is acne related to poor hygiene?
Acne can happen to anyone, and is not related to hygiene. This myth is likely perpetuated by the fact that blackheads often resemble dirt that appears to be embedded to the skin. In reality, the color of blackheads is the result of oxidized oil, and is unrelated to dirt. Cleansing can help acne, but only if done in moderation. Many acne patients cleanse obsessively, which can actually backfire, irritating the skin further and promoting inflammation.
Are there other conditions that can resemble acne?
While acne is by far the most common and prevalent skin condition, there are some conditions that can mimic acne symptoms. Rosacea, folliculitis, and perioral dermatitis are all conditions that are unrelated to acne, but have similar symptoms. If you notice that over the counter acne treatments are not effective, it is a good idea to visit a dermatologist, who can help with diagnosis and treatment.
Why is picking pimples bad?
Picking at pimples is tempting, but it risks pushing the infection deeper into the skin, which aggravates the problem, and increases the risk of permanent scarring. Even if infection does not occur, the pimple will often stay inflamed, taking longer for recovery than it would have taken, had it been left alone.
How long do acne cleansers take to clear existing acne?
Treatment duration varies widely depending on product and on the individual patient. In general, acne treatments take several weeks before significant improvement can be seen. Patience is required with all acne treatments. The most common reason that acne treatment plans fail is because the patient stops following instructions for treatment.
Can I use band-aids to cover pimples?
We don't recommend this. There are proper cosmetic cover-ups that can hide minor blemishes effectively, and will not aggravate acne.