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Dispelling the Top 5 Myths About Treating Acne in St. Louis

Updated: Mar 17



Acne Myths St. Louis
Acne Myths St. Louis

Acne is an extremely common skin condition that most people will experience at some point, especially during the teen years. However, acne often persists into adulthood as well. Data shows that over 50% of women and men in their 20s deal with acne breakouts.

With acne being so prevalent, there are also a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what causes it and how to treat it effectively. This article will debunk 5 of the most common myths about treating acne, specifically dispelling inaccurate information for those seeking care in St. Louis.


Myth 1: You Can Wash Acne Away

One of the biggest acne myths is that you can wash, scrub, or clean your way to clear skin. Excessive washing and harsh scrubbing can worsen acne breakouts. While gently cleansing your skin is important to keep pores from getting clogged, over-washing can end up doing more harm than good.

Here’s why this acne treatment myth is false:

  • Overwashing strips the skin of essential oils, causing it to dry out and overproduce oil again. This can lead to even more clogged pores.

  • Scrubbing irritates the skin and can further inflame pimples. This leads to more noticeable redness and swelling.

  • Many common skincare ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and fragrance act as skin irritants that exacerbate acne.

  • Put simply, you cannot “wash away” acne. An effective skincare routine involves gentle cleansing paired with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.


If you’re struggling with acne in St. Louis, washing more vigorously will not clear up breakouts long-term. Get customized treatment recommendations from a local dermatologist instead.


Myth 2: Popping Pimples Helps Get Rid of Acne

Another acne myth is that popping or squeezing pimples will help “get the gunk out” and allow them to heal faster. Dermatologists overwhelmingly advise against popping pimples at home. Here’s why:

  • Bursting pimples risks pushing debris and bacteria further down into the pore, worsening inflammation.

  • Using unclean hands, pins, or needles can transfer more bacteria onto the skin and cause infections.

  • Popping can create an open wound prone to scarring once the pimple eventually surfaces.

  • Aggressively picking at whiteheads and blackheads often just makes them persist longer.

  • Opt for medicated acne spot treatments containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid instead. Or get stubborn pimples safely extracted by an expert.

In almost all cases, popping or squeezing pimples at home will worsen acne and cause scarring. Stop picking and get properly treated by one of our Mid-County Dermatologists instead.


Myth 3: Acne is Caused by Poor Hygiene

Another common misconception is that people get acne because they are “dirty” or don’t wash properly. While a regular skincare routine is important, acne is not the result of poor hygiene. Here’s the truth:

  • The primary causes of acne include hormonal fluctuations, excess sebum (oil) production, genetics, bacteria growth, inflammatory reactions, and more.

  • Similarly, acne is not caused by dirt accumulation on the skin. Acne lesions form as a result of oils and dead skin cells clogging pores from the inside.

  • No amount of face washing, even if done aggressively, will “clean away” acne for good. Proper medical treatment is required.

  • Over-washing the skin can worsen acne breakouts by stripping beneficial oils and disturbing the skin's protective barrier.

The mistaken belief that people get acne from being “unclean” leads to psychological distress. In reality, acne is a complex medical condition that requires proper treatment plans. Don't hesitate to visit a caring St. Louis dermatology clinic for solutions.


Myth 4: You'll Eventually Outgrow Acne

Many people mistakenly believe that acne is just a teenage phase that everyone outgrows. However, dermatologists emphasize that acne frequently continues into adulthood. Here are the facts:

  • Over 50% of adult women and men in their 20s still battle acne breakouts. For many, it persists into middle age without treatment.

  • Hormonal acne in particular flares up frequently for women from their mid-20s into their 40s during menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

  • Adult acne also occurs more commonly in men, especially those with a family history of breakouts.

  • Letting acne worsen over time without medical care can lead to permanent scarring and other complex skin issues.

Don't wait around expecting your acne to disappear someday. Seeing a dermatologist for the right treatment plan can keep severe breakouts under control and reduce long-lasting damage to your complexion.


Myth 5: Sun Exposure Clears Up Acne Breakouts

Many people have experienced their acne seemingly “drying up” after spending time in the sun. However, while sun exposure might temporarily reduce acne symptoms, it can significantly damage skin long-term. Here's why it should be avoided:

  • While the sun's ultraviolet light has a mild antibacterial effect, it also leads to accelerated skin aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancer risks when unprotected.

  • Most acne medications, including retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and antibiotics, create sun sensitivity. The sun exacerbates side effects when using these treatments.

  • The risks of sun exposure far outweigh any potential benefits for acne reduction. Protecting skin with SPF products is critical.

Rather than risk sun damage by tanning or burning, get professional acne treatment through skincare techniques and products specifically formulated to prevent breakouts. This is the safest way to clear up blemishes without compromising your skin’s health.


In Conclusion: Seek Professional Acne Treatment

Getting the facts straight on these common myths is key to finding solutions that work for your acne. Trusting in false quick fixes often worsens breakouts and causes long-term skin damage. For customized medical treatment from experienced dermatologists in St. Louis, visit Mid-County Dermatology - easily book your appointment via our online scheduler. With professional help, you can safely eliminate acne and avoid scarring. Don't lose hope - clearer skin is within your reach!

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