4 Acne Myths Busted
Acne is complex. So when we hear about people putting nutty things on their zits because they read about it on the Internet, it makes us cringe…and empathize. Why? Because we were all once on that crazy boat too. That is until our straight-shooting dermatologist sat us down and set us straight. If you have ever resorted to using toothpaste, oils, or eye drops on a zit, know this: getting rid of pimples ain’t that simple. Here, Dr. Lisa Kellett offers her skin-saving advice.
MYTH #1 Rubbing a drop of oregano oil on a breakout can speed up the healing and prevent unsightly scarring without resorting to harsh commercial acne medication.
TRUTH: “Oregano oil can be irritating to the skin and cause more redness. There is little evidence-based medicine to support the use of oregano oil.”
MYTH #2 Putting Visine on a pimple will get rid the red out.
TRUTH: “No because the inflammation in an acne papule is not only from blood vessels but also the underlying activity in the oil gland, which does not respond to Visine.”
MYTH #3 Dairy products cause acne.
TRUTH: “There are no studies that show that the elimination of dairy products will cure acne. However if you find that you break out by consuming them, then discontinue. If you have a street person’s diet, your skin will reflect that. But at the same time, I still have patients who have an ideal diet and still complain of acne. The relationship between diet and acne is complex.”
MYTH #4 Putting toothpaste on a pimple will dry it out.
TRUTH: “Toothpaste is not an ideal acne treatment because it does not completely get rid of acne. It might dry it out, but toothpaste is very irritating and when it is applied to an inflamed red pimple (an acne papsule), which on its own has inflammatory mediators in it, the toothpaste can cause even more redness. Best thing to do would be to use a 5% benzoyl peroxide treatment gel-cream on the spots, applying it with a cotton swab, not your finger tips. Concentration of the medication matters: 2.5% BP is too low, and 10% BP might be too strong.”
Dr. Lisa Kellett is a Toronto-based cosmetic dermatologist. Her line Kellett Skincare Clear was created to meet the specific needs of adult acne.