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Dr. Shaista Lodhi

Dr. Shaista Lodhi is an expert in the field of Aesthetic Medicine & Cosmetology, and a renowned television presenter and actress.

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Hilal Her

Acne; Breaking the Break–out Cycle

June 2024

While growing up, you all heard many misconceptions about acne. There are plenty of stories about what causes acne. Maybe puberty is the reason teenagers go through various changes, and it is common to have acne on the face, especially for Asian skin. But how do you know if it is just a myth or fact? We are here to clarify things by debunking acne myths because these myths can lead to further skin damage.



Myth 1 – Only Teenagers Get Acne
It has been observed that people of all ages can get acne on their faces. According to the statistics, 30% of adults, both men and women, experience acne. 
Myth 2 – It’s OK to Pop Your Pimple Safely
Popping a pimple can increase the chances of scarring and dealing with infection. Squeezing a pimple triggers an inflammatory response, which attracts more bacteria and can cause acne scars.
Myth 3 - Acne Only Affects People with Oily Skin
This is the biggest lie you can tell yourself, if you don’t have oily skin there is no chance of having acne. All skin types can develop whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Treat it accordingly.
Myth 4 – Sweating Helps Clear Skin
Some people believe that using hot towels or getting steam improves their acne. Still, different studies have stated that it triggers and worsens acne, especially in summer, due to increased temperature, humidity, and sweating. 
Myth 5 - The More You Wash Your Face, the Less Acne You Will Have
Excessive use of facewash or any soap in a day to clear skin will not cure acne, it will only help decrease the bacteria on your skin. Try to wash your face only twice a day.
Myth 6 – Gluten-Free Diet is the Way to Clear Skin
Following a gluten-free diet is not a piece of cake because it is difficult to follow in the long run, and doing so unnecessarily could increase stress. Stress is linked to acne, which could make it worse. When a person avoids gluten without medical advice, it causes nutritional deficiencies and eating disorders.
Myth 7 – Exfoliation can Treat Acne 
While facial scrubs can help slough away pore-clogging dead skin cells, their excessive use can cause inflammation and make the skin vulnerable to infection, leading to acne and scarring. 
Myth 8 – People with Acne Should Avoid Moisturizers 
People with acne-prone skin should never skip moisturizer because of drier skin. Your sebaceous glands would produce excessive sebum to coat your face and moisturize to hydrate your face. It will lead to the clogging of your pores.
Myth 9 – Acne Treatments Are Useless
People need to understand that acne should be treated with the right medication. They are unaware that it takes about two to three weeks for acne to properly start responding to medications and that there is no way to get rid of acne within days or a week.
Myth 10 – Don’t Wear Sunscreen On Acne-Prone Skin
Sunscreen is a must-have for any skin type, you just have to pick the right product for your skin type. It protects against UV radiation, prevents sunburn, and becomes a barrier for healthier skin.
When to Seek Medical Help?
Symptoms and Causes

Pimples are a common skin condition caused by clogged skin and pimple-causing bacteria on your skin. Blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts are the symptoms of acne. 
Acne blemishes are small bumps caused by excess oil in the skin, bacteria, hormones, and some medications if the doctor has prescribed them.
Blackheads are a very common skin condition that affects the face, neck, and chest. There are multiple causes, but the most common are; too much oil on the skin and hair follicle irritation which can occur at any age.
Nodules are unusual tissue growths that can develop in any part of the body. While they are frequently noncancerous, specific nodules may indicate an underlying health issue.
Diagnosis and Tests
How Is Acne Diagnosed?

A healthcare provider can diagnose acne during a skin examination. During this exam, they will closely inspect your skin to understand your symptoms better. They might also inquire about potential acne risk factors, such as:
•    Are you experiencing stress?
•    Is there a family history of acne?
•    If you are a woman, do you notice breakouts during your menstrual cycle?
•    What medications are you currently taking?
Diagnostic tests are typically unnecessary for acne, but your healthcare provider may recommend tests to identify any underlying conditions if you experience sudden, severe outbreaks, particularly as an adult.
Management and Treatment
Online Skin Products

Numerous skincare products are available in the market, such as facewashes, scrubs, serums, moisturizers as well as day and night creams. Nowadays, when customers have unlimited choices for their skincare routine or treatment of acne, choosing the right skincare products for their skin or acne can be a personal journey, as everyone’s skin is unique. Some brands in the market offer a wider range of skincare products infused with natural ingredients, focusing on overall skin health and well-being. When deciding, it’s essential to consider your type, specific concern, and preference. Ideally, you should see a consultant to get a prescription-based medication for your acne. Remember, what works for others may not necessarily work for you. Otherwise, you only need a simple, basic, non-drying cleanser, sunscreen, and essential moisturizer. 
How Can an Individual Treat Acne?
When over-the-counter skin care solutions aren’t enough, prescription medications might be necessary. Additionally, treatments available at dermatology or aesthetic clinics, such as chemical peels, cleansing suction, cocktail facials, anti-acne lasers, and radio frequency for acne scarring, can be highly effective.
The next available option is Retinol, a natural Vitamin (A) derivative commonly included in anti-aging creams. It also serves as an effective treatment for acne and acne scars. It functions in several ways. Retinol exfoliates the skin’s surface by removing dirt, dead skin cells, and oil from the pores, helping to prevent pimples. Unlike many other acne treatments, Retinol penetrates the middle layer of the skin (dermis), where its tiny molecules stimulate collagen and elastin production. This stimulation helps to reduce the appearance of pores and acne scars over time.
Last but not least, to avoid acne, use cleansers containing salicylic, Mandelic, or Azelaic Acids. Try washing your face at least twice daily, select a good serum suited to your skin type, and use a sunblock with non-comedogenic properties. Avoid picking at or popping acne to prevent scarring. 
Acne is the most common skin condition and can significantly affect mental health and self-esteem. If you’re struggling with persistent acne, it’s essential to consult a dermatologist for effective treatment. Remember, acne is temporary and can be resolved with appropriate treatment tailored to your skin. Misconceptions about acne are often due to misunderstandings and need clarification. It’s up to experts, who sometimes have differing opinions, to debunk these myths and improve patient care.


Dr. Shaista Lodhi is an expert in the field of Aesthetic Medicine & Cosmetology, and a renowned television presenter and actress.

Article was read 336 times

Dr. Shaista Lodhi

Dr. Shaista Lodhi is an expert in the field of Aesthetic Medicine & Cosmetology, and a renowned television presenter and actress.

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