True or false: eating chocolate cause acne? What about covering acne blemishes with makeup will worsen them? And, how about, if you pick your pimples, you'll cause scars? Find out as Dr. Schultz debunks these and many other of acne's greatest myths.
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Dr. Neal Schultz: Hello, I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. There are a lot of misconceptions about acne out there and today I'm going to set the record straight, I'm going to debunk the eight most common myths about acne. Myth number one, you just have to live with it you can't cure acne. That fortunately is not true. Today, more than ever we have more and more effective treatments for acne. For mild acne we have topical treatments, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, exfoliants like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and even the traditional topical treatments like sulfur and Resorcinol. For more advanced acne, we have oral medication that works very well, oral antibiotics, birth control pills and ultimately, Accutane, if the other treatments haven't worked, Accutane will work 100% of the time because Accutane stops oil and if you don't have oil, you don't have acne. Myth number two, acne is a disease of teenagers, you'll outgrow it. Not true but, fortunately, since we have treatment to cure acne, it almost doesn't matter. But the reality is we've seen a shift in the age spectrum of acne, particularly amongst women. We see more acne now in women in their later twenties, thirties, forties and even fifties. Some women even have acne right into menopause. We think that the reason for this change in the age spectrum has to do with: number one more women in the workforce where they experience untraditional stresses; number two air pollution and number three make-up and speaking about make-up -- Myth number 3, I can't cover my acne with make-up. Sure you can, as long as the make-up is appropriate. As long as it's marked either water-based or oil-free or non-comedogenic, which simply means it won't clog your skin. You can certainly cover acne blemishes with that make-up. Myth number four, picking pimples causes scars. You'd have to pick really deep to cause a scar. A scar is a depression in the skin, underneath the surface, or a bump above the surface of the skin, but what picking pimples does do, it causes flat stains, discolorations, dark spots on the pimple, around the pimple, and these are even more difficult to treat than the actual pimples themselves. So the reason not to pick pimples is so that you don't get these dark stains which are so annoying and so hard to get rid of. Myth number five, cortisone creams are good for my acne. Well, cortisone creams may actually improve your pimples temporarily but when you use it repeatedly, it's going to cause more pimples, it's going to thin the skin, and ultimately break your blood vessels, so don't use cortisone creams on pimples. Number six, food causes acne. We've all heard about the traditional forbidden foods like chocolate, nuts, caffeine, colas, fried foods, pizza. The reality? When you do well-controlled, statistically-valid studies, those foods don't cause acne but there are always exceptions to these studies so some people come in and tell me when I eat chocolate, I break out, and I tell that patient, of course, you obviously can't eat chocolate. But at this point in your life, if you haven't noticed a relationship between eating those foods and breaking out with pimples the next day, then there probably is no relationship. The only exception is iodine and iodine is contained in shellfish, lobster, shrimp, crabmeat, certain green vegetables that come out of the ocean like seaweed, spinach, kelp and certain medications like thyroid medications. Iodine will cause pimples, will cause acne, but not the day after you eat it. It's the accumulation by eating these foods day after day that suddenly causes acne. So the bottom line is, if you're prone to acne, try to avoid iodine-containing foods. There are two other myths that can easily be debunked. First, antibiotics weaken my system so I shouldn't take them for acne. The reality, the antibiotics prescribed for acne will not weaken your system, they're not used for more important infections, and they're perfectly safe if use

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