Bothered by acne? Read on for expert advice from a dermatologist!
In the quest for good skin, many turn to myriad products in the skincare aisle, or the abundance of skincare advice that makes its rounds online. But how do you know what works? In the interest of sifting out the facts, we speak to Dr Kok Wai Leong, a senior consultant and dermatologist at StarMed Specialist Centre, to bust common misconceptions about those pesky spots. Here are all the myths about acne to stop believing in.
Myth 1: Acne only occurs during puberty
Teens and young adults are highly likely to experience acne. But, acne may even start in adulthood (we know – bummer!). So if you’re noticing an outbreak of pimples as an adult, know that it’s a common occurrence. In fact, studies have shown that as high as 30% of adults may experience acne, and it affects both men and women. If you suspect you may have adult acne, it’s best to get an evaluation by a dermatologist to determine its cause.
Myth 2: Popping a pimple will help it heal
Squeezing your pimples at home is never a good idea! Unclean hands will introduce more bacteria to the skin, and too much pressure applied may lead to further damage. All this can lead to an even longer recovery time. To heal those spots, add topical medicated creams to your skincare routine, avoid touching your face and reduce the use of makeup until your skin clears up.
Myth 3: Washing your face often will prevent acne
Washing your face frequently may do more harm than good – it strips your skin of natural oils that keep it healthy. It can dry out the skin, causing it to produce more oil, which may worsen acne. Overly dry skin may also be more prone to infections. So stick to washing twice daily, and opt for a fragrance-free cleanser to prevent further skin irritation.
Myth 4: Acne will go away on its own
Does playing the waiting game work for you? Likely not. Acne can last for a long time; early and effective treatment is your best course of action. Dr Kok encourages early treatment to halt progression to large cysts and severe skin inflammation. Plus, effective treatment prevents development of blemishes and permanent acne scars.
Myth 5: It’s okay to discontinue acne treatment once you get better
Acne treatment isn’t an overnight cure – Dr Kok says that acne lesions take time to improve and there’s no quick fix. The duration of treatment varies according to the individual, and regular visits to the clinic may be required to titrate treatment to your response. A maintenance plan is required to prevent flare-ups. That’s why stopping treatment abruptly is a huge no-no.
If you’re looking to clear up your skin and at-home treatments don’t seem to be working, it’s best to seek medical help from a certified dermatologist – check out StarMed’s dermatology clinic for a range of skincare services, from surgical to laser treatments. In the meantime, resist the urge to pop those spots!
This post is in partnership with Starmed Specialist Centre.